Narrative in Place

Neutelings Riedijk Architecten

Architecture | One week about

One Week About Architecture by curator SchilderScholte architects

Although their faces are vague, the posture of the two boys still reveals their thoughts clearly. Standing on the waterfront they are looking thoughtfully at the indoor pond that takes up more than half of the surface of the hall.

The concept behind the central hall of the Minnaert building in Utrecht was to make an appeal to all the senses: sound, texture, light, heat, odor, moisture and draught. Rain water no longer falls freely in the pond of the hall, which aim was to cool the building. A few years after actual occupation in 1997, the experimental cooling system of this university building was literally drained.

The Zeeland cockle shells, visible in the steel discs, had died before that. The idea of inhibiting the acid rain by means of their calcium did not appear to work. In the background twelve study niches are carved out sharply in the wall. In winter, warm alcoves, in summer cooling loggias. Nothing is what it seems in the Minnaert building.

Location: central hall, Minnaert building, Utrecht
Architect: Neutelings Riedijk architecten

Photos: Daria Scagliola and Stijn Brakkee

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