Minnaert Building, Utrecht

Related people
Addison Godel (was created by)
Willem Jan Neutelings (architect)
"The Minnaert building offers shared facilities - lecture halls, laboratories, offices and a restaurant - for the faculties of physics and astronomy, earth sciences, mathematics and information studies at the University of Utrecht and is linked with these faculty buildings by overhead walkways. All the common spaces are built as compactly as possible around an enormous central hall , with Moorish-style benches around the edge. Concentrating requirement-free space in the central hall, it became possible to let it be cold in the winter and warm in the summer and when it rains, the water flows towards large funnels in the roof and splashes down to the hall's slanting floor. There it forms a pool that ebbs and flows according to the season. When the sun shines, beams of light enter through the same funnels. The studio aims to stimulate the senses with a changing interior climate in order to avoid the monotony of a standard building." - Lootsma, Bart. (2000). Super Dutch. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. p. 147-149 "...today's building have to contend with a paradox: lighting, computers and human bodies produce an enormous quantity of heat which cannot escape the building thanks to the excellent insulation. The result is that such buildings need cooling even in winter using energy-wasting systems. We wanted to try to resolve this paradox when designing the Minnaert building in Utrecht. We inserted five enormous funnels into the roof of the building's main hall through which the rainwater clatters into an enormous basin. The heat from the entire building is conducted to this basin which acts as a thermal barrier. At night the water is pumped back to the roof where its heat evaporates heavenwards. The result is not just an efficiently cooled building but a whole range of sensory experiences; when it rains it clatters and rages in the hall, in summer it is sultry and clammy, in winter fresh and draughty..." - Neutelings, p. 252. Keywords: Netherlands, Utrecht, institutional structures. Submitted by Keoni
1990s (1990 - 1999)
Neutelings, W.J. & Riedjik, M. (2004). At work: Neutelings Riedijk Architects. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. p. 252