Dutch firm Paul de Ruiter Architects have unveiled a novel student pavilion for the Netherlands’ Erasmus University that aims to go zero energy while creating a comfortable, light-filled hub for the campus. Spotted over at Designboom, the design for the Rotterdam-based university features a hybrid roof system that captures daylight and solar energy with an array of light-harvesting tubes. Passive cooling and state-of-the-art heating systems increase energy savings even further. The clean look of a circle-in-a-box aesthetic keeps the building light and open, creating an inviting atmosphere for students to meet and study in.

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The architects explain that the unique roof system uses an ‘intelligent solar system’ which directs daylight into the interior while reducing solar heat gain and producing clean energy. That’s a pretty neat trick if they can pull it off. The open interior makes full use of that daylight with a central interior atrium that offers plenty of places to crash. A theater, café, and work centers are tucked along the sides and on a second floor. The entire ground level is flanked with a full-story glass façade that makes the building transparent.

The pavilion is heated and cooled with a ground-source heat pump coupled with a radiant tube concrete core that cuts energy consumption. Add natural cooling, night flushing, and copious daylighting and the student pavilion may very well ace the zero energy test.

+ Paul de Ruiter Architects

Via Designboom