1999 - present, Groningen, The Netherlands
The Zernike Campus, on the northern ring road of Groningen, accommodates the expansion of the University of Groningen and the Hanze Hogeschool. Building upon West 8's masterplan from 1999, the area has transformed from a rigid urban grid with anonymous buildings into a Green Campus; a park like setting with continuous lawns and large trees. Science buildings with a strong individual character are placed on the lawn. Vistas between the buildings and groups of trees give the Campus a generous spacious feeling.
The Campus is primarily designed for pedestrians and cyclists. A six-meter wide track for slow traffic meanders through the Campus. Low hedges guide the track.
The fundamental concept for new buildings on the Campus is the introduction of ‘human scale’. In contrast with the large-scale university complexes from the sixties and seventies the buildings on the Campus have a reduced scale and an equal position in the green setting. Like pieces on a chessboard each building has an individual character.
Since 2015 West 8 is reviewing and updating its original Masterplan to ensure the concept's continuity for the next decade.
The Hanze Forum forms an integral part of the Zernike Campus. The individual buildings of the Hanze Hogeschool enfold the Forum. A large fountain with a circular bench creates a meeting point on the Forum. A nude from the Dutch ‘De Ploeg’ painter Johannes Dijkstra is reflected in the water.