We've seen some beautiful renovations, but this one definitely tops the charts. Dutch design studio BK Architecten transformed TU Delft's old Renaissance-style library by subtly referencing its long history and existing architecture. The building, constructed between 1912 and 1915, was restored to its former glory and adapted for a more efficient performance in terms of air conditioning and acoustic qualities. Built-in furniture was added in different areas of the interior, giving the historic building a touch of modernity.
After years of neglect, TU Delft‘s De Oude Bibliotheek was turned into a training center for the offshore energy industry. BK Architecten teamed up with KREUK architectuur and Stephanie Gieles interieurontwerp, and set out to renovate the building and adapt it to its new use. In terms of design, the architects drew inspiration from the history of the place, existing architecture and some of the original features such as terrazzo floors, stucco ornaments and wall paintings. Poor acoustic performance was also recognized as a major issue.
While bringing parts of the building to their original condition using authentic materials, the architects introduced new built-in furniture and placed a Portuguese stone floor in the atrium and the gallery spaces. The old reading rooms were converted into classrooms with acoustic bookcases ensuring comfortable acoustics.
A new ventilation system was introduced, while keeping the original stucco ceilings intact. The new system was customized to minimize the number and length of airducts-it was integrated into the built-in furniture, around the radiators and in the benches along the windows of the atrium.
Subtle references to the offshore industry were introduced, including a Dutch offshore sea map in the blue printed carpets and a compass formed in the stone floor of the atrium.
Photos by Arnaud Roelofsz