Interview Pulse – Iris en Lucy_1

‘No-frills functionality’

Interview Pulse

Lucy Mackie Project manager Campus and Real Estate & Iris van Loon Coordinator educational spaces E&SA

Due to the annually growing number of students and the need for different, more flexible educational spaces, TU Delft is developing the new educational building Pulse. It will be built between the Faculties of 3mE and Industrial Design and will be the place for modern education. Intelligent orientation, solar panels on the roof and thermal storage in the soil will make Pulse the first energy neutral building on campus.

Iris van Loon and Lucy Mackie both once studied architecture at TU Delft. Nowadays, Iris is the Educational Spaces Coordinator, a position in which she translates demand for spaces into real estate whilst paying a great deal of attention to user commitment. As a Project Manager, Lucy ensures that the wishes and requirements Iris collects are taken on board and implemented by the advisors and contractor.

Why the new building?

Iris: “First of all, because the numbers of students has risen to 21,000 over the past five years without any educational spaces having been added over that time. Secondly, because TU Delft has decided to provide more activating education on the basis of the idea that this challenges students more. We have a lot of spaces for lectures for some 300 students on campus as well as rooms for 30 students or so, but very few spaces of a size in between the two in which groups or individuals can work. There is however demand for such spaces from the faculties”.

Lucy: “Pulse’s spaces can accommodate a maximum of 125 students, alongside rooms for 100, 80 and 60 students. Furthermore, the floors have to be level or feature multiple, large platforms. You have to be able to turn to face one another, but also the lecturer or the digital screen”.

Interview Pulse – Iris Iris van Loon  

What will Pulse offer students?

Lucy: “Pulse will create meetings. During the lessons that involve cooperation, but also outside these. Alongside appealing food & beverage facilities, there will be multiple meeting places and studying spaces throughout the building. The surrounding rooms at 3ME will also be accessible through Pulse which will make the building even more part of its immediate surroundings. For peace and quiet you head to the Library, for contact to Pulse. That guidelines provided a lot of direction during the design phase”.

Iris: “We went really far when it came to detailing the design. For instance, together with lecturer and student representatives we examined which walls should be writeable and how to position outlets for laptop users that would work with as many layouts as possible”.

What are or were the biggest challenges encountered during the process?

Lucy: “It is a non-dedicated building and so doesn’t belong to a particular faculty. This means it has to meet a wide range of demands. Students and lecturers were actively involved in the design, but you can hardly get all 21,000 of them on board. Furthermore, it is very hard to predict what education will be like five to ten years from now. Incidentally, the roof garden was cut because we didn’t have the budget. During the construction phase costs and scheduling become a challenge. Pulse has to be finished by the start of the 2017 – 2018 academic year and so there is only a short construction window. Furthermore, we also have to continually take the surrounding buildings into account where lectures and research have to continue as normal”.

Interview Pulse -Lucy Lucy Mackie  

Why should we be proud of this?

Iris: “I think demand from education has been translated into no-frills functionality in the best way possible. Students and lecturers were united in the Pulse sounding board group contributed to this. We toured various educational spaces with this group to see what was and wasn’t useful. This allows you to discover, for instance, an educational room entirely laid out with moveable work spaces that is hardly ever used because it’s all too much work. This harmonisation was very educational and its results were incorporated into the design”.

Lucy: “We should also be proud of its sustainability. Our Professor of Sustainability Andy van den Dobbelsteen played an important role in this. For example, he indicated that you could create the biggest gains through building orientation: position the educational spaces on the north-western side so you have to cool them as little as possible. The building’s thermal storage, good insulation values and solar panels do the rest making the building energy neutral.”

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