Paul de Ruiter

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

Four buildings consolidated into a single faculty building

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Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences' new faculty building is located at its Kralingse Zoom campus and was conceived to support the university's new approach to preparing its economics students for tomorrow’s world. This new educational approach is defined by small-group learning, interactive activity and an emphasis on the connection of theoretical study to real-world practice. The design therefore needed to accommodate adaptable learning and interaction zones, which would facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas between students and lecturers, and these zones were to be spread evenly across the faculty. In response, we consolidated the four existing buildings into a single multifunctional whole.

Education, Interior, BREEAM

The six-storey building had its official opening on 31 August 2017, and represents the completion of the Rotterdam Business School. It also represents the successful unification of the different shapes and styles of the previously separate buildings. This unification of disparate elements is aided by our employment of multi-storeyed glass-roofed alleyways between the buildings that make up the ensemble. In addition, our approach to ventilation has allowed us to connect the four buildings without creating differences in elevation at each level.

We designed a new entrance on the western side of the building, facing Erasmus University.

The previous foyer now extends into the new one, which functions as a meeting point and greets entering students with a 20-metre-wide wooden staircase that lends itself to this purpose. This staircase leads to the light and airy heart of the new building: the atrium. The atrium is ringed by floors of lecture rooms and offices, which are accommodated in spaces that allow for easy resizing and reconfiguration.

A comfortable and environmentally healthy building

The triple-glazed facade and glass atrium roof allow daylight to penetrate deep into the building. The floor of each storey protrudes slightly beyond the facade, resulting in a series of horizontal bands that allowed us to conceal the facade's sunshades. The facade is also designed for natural ventilation, admitting fresh air via recessed sections that open manually. To minimise water consumption, we equipped the building with a rainwater harvesting system for toilet flushing. The building was awarded a BREEAM Excellent certificate for environmental performance.

Project details


Total floor area 13.000 m²
Program Adaptable, multifunctional educational building
Start design January 2015
Start construction April 2016
Completion September 2017


Client Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
Project architect Paul de Ruiter & Raymond van Sabben
Project team Noud Paes, Martijn van Gameren, Giorgio Carella, Marlous Vriethoff, Florina Raileanu
Contractor SMT Bouw
Adv․ constructions Van Rossum
Adv․ construction costs Kontek
Adv․ installations Nelissen
Adv․ building physics Peutz
Photography Ossip, Levien Willemse, Martijn van Gameren

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