Today i wanted to show you a really interesting project that i recently heard about.
Located at the University of Utrech in the Netherlands, design by NL Architects a new sportive building emerged; BASKET BAR, completed in the year of 2004.
Utrech campus is growing really fast ruled by an OMA urban plan, and students housing were included in that urban plan bringing a new issue to be solved; the nightlife of that area. Services were needed, a hybrid bar is evolving. Curious fact, this bar will serve an estimated impressive number of 30 000 people, among staff and students.
The Cafe will become an informal new and natural campus center, a place of social encounters between students, professors and researchers. The beauty of it's deployment is directly linked with Van Unnik building, a massive 80 meters high icon of the university.
Uithof Café is a 15x15 square building extension of an existing bookstore. The oversized roof stresses it's flatness becoming an even bigger contrast with Van Unnik. The existing shop had an insufficient heigh for a Grand Café Bar, the solution was to sunk it 1,2 meters providing a new perspective of public space combining intimacy with an extensive view.
As you can see on the floor plan and in the images below, an organic entrance is marking an "orange poll", connecting a sunken terrace with a mini amphitheater, perfect for mixing people together.
A Basket Ball court incorporated on a XL roof is the perfect location for showing your superior basket ball skills. Since the structure is so flat the visual impact is minor, totally natural and well resolved. Also the middle circle of the court is made out of glass, creating a tension and establishing a visual relation between the two spaces; the bar and the basketball court.
I really enjoyed this project, mixing programs and functions combined with the good deployment of the building and the relationships between interior/exterior were beautifully executed in what i could call a good architectural example.
Over and Out.