Water Campus


Leeuwarden, Netherlands, 2011

The Water Campus in Leeuwarden is designed to house companies involved in the research and production of water technologies and to present a flexible, sustainable addition to the existing campus buildings.
The Water Campus is organised around the principle of the water molecule, with the design for the building based on a network of five water molecules, each connected by the common areas in the centre of the building . The design also employs water for the heating and cooling of the building.  Further reduction in energy demand is facilitated by the facade, which completely closes at night.
The design for the Water Campus required a flexible, future-oriented approach. A central arrangement of the cores was therefore chosen to maximise flexibility for future users. A continuous row of offices or laboratories can be placed around the peripheries of the building, allowing the communication and common areas to be centralised for all parties. As the stimulation of interaction between the various users of the Water Campus is important for eventual collaborations, the communication spaces and social meeting areas form the binding element within the building. This can be most clearly witnessed on the second floor where all the common areas are brought together.
The surrounding landscape, largely enclosed by water, supports the building both practically and visually. It emphasises the various qualities of water as a fundamental source of life, as a reflective mirror and as a reference to the Frisian landscape. The Water Campus landscape incorporates the use of natural vegetation and water-related wildlife, as well as referencing abstract qualities such as coolness, clarity, cleanliness, flow and reflection.


Client: Municipality of Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Building surface: 11.000m2 1st phase and 25.000m2 2nd phase
Building site: Ca. 32.000m2
Programme: Offices and laboratories
Status: competition entry


Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Wesley Lanckriet and Deepak Jawahar, Alicia Casals, Wendy van der Knijff, Patrik Noome, Didar Hussein, Ali Asghar

Landscape: Lodewijk Baljon  landschapsarchitecten
Cost management: Basalt bouwadvies bv
Visualisation: Nanopixel