Epic Hipster Architecture School: TU Delft

Weekend Travel: Delft | NL

If you are an architecture geek, having hipster lifestyle, and you like the freedom that Netherlands has to offer; maybe, here is your sanctuary. Here in Delft?

The city is home for TU Delft, one of the biggest academic institution in Netherlands and hey, it is no small player in the world either. The architecture school is considered as top 4 best architecture school in the world according to recent article by Archdaily

The Architecture Gigafactory

I would imagine this is how it looks if they convert Tesla Gigafactory into architecture school.

I would imagine this is how it looks if they convert Tesla Gigafactory into architecture school.

And that is only the model room, the workshop is located underneath the mezzanine and you have full access of all kind of tools and machineries. I can work all day here, very spacious, filled with daylight, and never to worry not to get any working space.


They close at 10.00PM. This is the stake... Well it really depends on the individual, it can be good news or a disaster. Most of the architecture schools across Europeimplemented the curfew system where they close down the building after a certain time that force students to go home and not overwork themselves.


Neon Lights Ain't No Broadway


Here is the fancy alleyway that makes a rendition of New York Broadway with its neon light signage sticking from both sides. Feeling like walking in a middle of the night at a bar street in downtown area? Maybe that's the intention. Walking through the corridor and the canteen feels festive and fun. The division of space is defined in different levels to accommodate different kind of activities.

The corridor, the canteen, and the model shop is designed in such a way that it could transforms into a giant party area  at some time during the semester apart from their weekly happy hour every Friday night.

The Model Superwarehouse

This is the playground!

There are massive amount of exploration in terms of communicating the idea through the translation to physical model. This is totally different than architecture schools in the west coast where the majority of the models are 3d printed with minor part is laser cut. It is so refreshing to see some of the analog technique is still used or perhaps newly introduced here. Proof that analogue technique still holds some degree of relevancy among the representation of physicalized digital model that tends to be monotone.

Of course these models are not without the help of digital technology, but it is a good reminder at least for me to see broader possibilities in model making technique and representation.


The Why Factory

This is it.

The world famous research studio in collaboration with MVRDV is inside the over-sized orange stairs. Here lies the production of speculative urban projects, urban research, basically everything. 

The Ultimate

Double purpose is always the fundamental design intent of the space in this architecture school. First, an adequate space to carry out academic activities, and second, to accommodate faculty-wide party! 

Seems absurd right, in fact, they just had such event last weekend. Check this rad video by #donotsettle where they did transform the entire space for the ultimate epic party! 

Library / Mecanoo

Apart from the very happening architecture school, the school also known for its library building designed by local firm, Mecanoo. The library features a swooping landscape roof where student can have a bit of fun, feel the sun and Netherland's breeze air, when its time to study, you can just slide down and get inside the huge cone. 

The cone essentially penetrates through the library's plynth, consisting layers of enclosed study area isolated from any outside view or noise. 

Work area and common room.

Work area and common room.

Ascending towards the cone of isolation.

Ascending towards the cone of isolation.

Delft - Centrum

If one wants to be a student in TU Delft, most likely it means living in the city of Delft also. It is a bit daunting, isn't it? I get a chance to stay there for several days to just feel how it's like to be a student there. To be honest, it is a pretty compact city, seems not much to see or to do.

The  kaart figuratief, famous  old city map of Delft, handrawn by Joan Blaeu

The kaart figuratief, famous old city map of Delft, handrawn by Joan Blaeu

The Kaart Figuratief is undoubtedly the most important map of Delft, a “true topographical monument (B. van ‘t Hoff).”3 However, it is not a map in the modern sense, rather, it is a hybrid of a map, an aerial photograph and theatre stage in which the whole town of Delft is seen from a bird’s-eye view with buildings shown in isometric perspective. The drawing’s three-dimensional relief offers an unparalleled sensation of a real brick-and-mortar town in miniature and it is difficult not to be moved by it. Beautiful as the Kaart Figuratief may be, it still has one drawback for the modern historian: it depicts a smaller number of buildings on any given city block than there actually were.4 Thus, exact measurements and identifications of specific building is not always possible.It also does not show the improvised wood structures in which the poor lived in the areas immediately surrounding the walled town
— http://www.essentialvermeer.com/maps/delft/maps_of_delft.html#.Vx8wMVZ9670

However, Delft is located comfortably in between the Hague and Rotterdam. Both are major cities in Southern Holland. Together, the trio becomes the key economy generator for the country after Amsterdam. 

Well there's an old saying, you study in Delft, earn money in Rotterdam, and spend it in Amsterdam.

Tabee !