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UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

Netherlands Architecture News - May 14, 2021 - 14:06   2461 views

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

World-renowned Dutch architecture practice UNStudio has revealed plans to extend the Elysion Congress Centre (ECC) in Eindhoven with large cantilevered auditorium structure and vertical green gardens in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

UNStudio's new designs scheme will expand the existing multifunctional Congress Centre to a total area of 4,000 square meters and will add a new 1,500-capacity flexible auditorium with a vertical foyer housing breakout spaces and catering areas.

The UNStudio team will design around five architectural interventions on the project, by considering its impact on both the city centre and the environment.

The building is located Eindhoven's Brainport region, which is currently one of the leading innovative technology regions in Europe. 

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

The building will be high impact landmark, low impact on surroundings

"The challenge for the city to create a landmark building, alongside the challenge for Van der Valk to maintain operations during the construction process, resulted in a unique design solution in which the extension of the congress centre is placed next to the existing building, while the auditorium is placed on top of the conference centre building," said UNStudio. 

By designing a large cantilevered auditorium structure on top of the building, this auditorium is aimed to make possible to keep the existing hotel and conference centre fully operational during construction.

On the other hand, the building is designed to be a clearly identifiable building with access to green parkland, excellent connections and space for logistics.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

A foyer that connects people and programme

The foyer will have wooden staircases and vertical green gardens, while it will function as the main connector from the ground floor through the different levels of the building. 

This vertical foyer also houses multiple areas for relaxing, working and informal meeting for visitors. 

In addition, the foyer connects the entrances to the congress and conference areas, with multiple bars and access to outside spaces. It also functions as the connector for all the facilities and main logistics.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

The new auditorium and conference centre will be built next to the already existing conference centre. By creating a large cantilever, the existing building can continue operations during construction.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

Green surroundings and a sustainable approach

The ECC is located at the border of the ‘Genneper Parken’, a large green space between the ring road (Brainport Avenue), the high-tech campus and the city centre.

The integration of the project into the Genneper Parken is visible on multiple levels. The park landscape flows onto the roof and under the elevated building. Visitors can relax on the roof or in the shade under the building and enjoy a healthy juice or a coffee before moving on. The Genneper Parken also houses large sport facilities, and as such acts as a driver for physical, mental and social health.

In the Elysion proposal, a part of the existing hotel building will also be demolished to strengthen the ecology of the adjoining ‘beekdal Tongelreep’ - an important waterway and brook valley with high scenic, ecological and cultural-historical value.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

The facade of the congress centre is principally made from wood and glass. The ambition is to couple this with nitrogen dioxide absorbing surfaces - an innovative new nano-technology that can capture pollutants from its surroundings.

The new buildings will also be energy positive, generating more energy than they consume. By using innovative bromide flow batteries, energy can be stored for use during peak times. In addition, the location houses the largest regional charging station for electrical cars. The green ambition for the project is also expressed in the application for a BREEAM Outstanding rating for the design.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

A new mobility hub for Brainport

The expansion of the congress facilities also necessitates an extension in the number of hotel rooms, parking spaces and leisure facilities. To accommodate this, the intention is to create a second hotel tower that manifests sport and leisure, while the parking area is a green extension, placed alongside Brainport Avenue.

By creating a sustainable mobility hub - with the existing park and ride and the new parking facilities - the location can not only become one of the main charging stations for electrical cars, it can also offer green alternatives for travel to Eindhoven city centre, such as the HOV connection, bicycles and other means of smart transportation.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

A flexible solution for feasible exploitation

In order to ensure financial feasibility during exploitation, a proposal was developed to create a flexible and hybrid design for the 1,500-seat auditorium.

By creating different configurations within the conference space, the auditorium can be divided into four independent smaller auditoria, enabling smaller conferences to take place simultaneously within the building. When configured in this way, retractable seating also makes it possible for the lower auditorium to be used as a banquet hall while the other conference rooms are in use. In addition, a recording studio located in the conference centre will make it possible to host hybrid online and live events.

UNStudio extends Congress Centre with large cantilevered auditorium structure in Eindhoven

The main structure of the auditorium is built from a combination of wood and steel, while a large window provides visitors to the auditorium with a spectacular view to the skyline of Eindhoven.

The new congress centre has become part of the region-deal Brainport Eindhoven, within which 7 million euro has been made available towards its realisation. The ambition is for this new facility to be completed in 2025.

Project facts

Project name: ECC Eindhoven (Elysion Congress Centre)

Location: Netherlands, 2021

Client and Operator: Van der Valk Eindhoven  (Luiten-van der Valk Beheer B.V.)Eindhoven

Location: Aalsterweg Eindhoven, Netherlands

Building surface: total 5,900 m2: 2,400 m2 extension of existing congress centre (1,600 m2) to a total of 4,000 m2) and auditorium 2,100m2 (1500 seats)

Scope: Pre-concept design stage for design of Conference Centre and auditorium. On Masterplan level, vision for hotel facades, parking and landscape            

Status: Competition 1st place, in progress

Credits for publication

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Erwin Horstmanshof, Pietro Scarpa and Rebekah Tien, Yangkenan Li

Advisors for publication: 

Client and Operator: Van der Valk, Eindhoven (Luiten-van der Valk Beheer B.V.)

Project management and tender management: DVP

D&B Contractor and BREEAM: Huybregts Relou

Architect: UNStudio and Quant Architectuur

Structure: Tielemans

MEP, BREEAM: DVP Smart Concepts

Theater technology and acoustics: PBTA

Cost consultancy: ISIS bouwadvies

Future Congress: Sixfingers

Communication: Skillz

DTP: Bramendevlam

All images © Flying architecture

All drawings © UNStudio 

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