Organisation - August 26, 2009

Lectures in a flying saucer in the new building

Wageningen UR campus is getting its own ‘Pentagon’.

That’s the shape of things to come: the new education building Orion. Another striking feature on Joost Ector’s architect’s drawings is a large triangular terrace on the south side. Ector says the pentagon is a nice variant on the monolithic cubes of Forum and Atlas. It’s not clear how much the new building will cost.
The main reason for the pentagonal shape is the huge lecture hall at Orion (seating 720). It’s going to be an amphitheatre, and that was hard to fit into a rectangular building. In the pentagon it needs less structural support, Ector explains. The lecture hall, which can be subdivided into smaller rooms, will steal the show at Orion. It will hang like a flying saucer above the ground floor and take up two storeys.
Another interesting feature is the green roof terrace above the lecture theatres. This sunny south-facing terrace fills the U-shaped inner space in the pentagon: a kind of big balcony really. An outdoor area with a ‘roof’ of sun-resistant slats.

The draft design has been approved by the executive board. The designers are working on the final version. The plan is to start building next summer. The building will take two years to complete.