Nijmegen is the location of this vibrant new venue for researchers, students, congress delegates and staff of Radboudumc. Unused outdoor space and the renovated existing building have been innovatively transformed into the calling card of the academic centre. That has turned the centre of the new campus into a meeting point for learning, innovating and connecting.
Social hub full of encounters
Training, learning and innovating are interwoven on all five floors of the centre. From the main entrance at Geert Grooteplein you walk past the Innovation Park right in front of the new covered square. It is located one level lower and is accessed via a spacious bank of bleachers designed as a tilted disc. The steps form the ideal viewing gallery for entertainment events and other gatherings. Seeing and being seen facilitates exactly the type of chance encounters that lead to creativity. With its many adjacent functions and height of 12 metres, the atrium becomes an inviting and pleasant space, the social hub of the building. From the cosy coffee bar and graceful balconies, you look out across the activity on the square. The Experience Center houses a congress auditorium, meeting and conference rooms, lecture theatres and classrooms, a clinical training centre, skills & simulation labs, a reading room 2.0, an extensive library and the Innovation Park. This creative incubator houses various Health Innovation Labs that work together on sustainable healthcare in the future.
The building is a catalyst for innovation ... it is the showcase of the hospital
Iris Hobo, Radboudumc Design Manager
Made to innovate
The Experience Center occupies a central position on the campus, immediately between a characteristic castle, called Huize Heijendaal, opposite the main entrance and in front of the visitor car park beneath Geert Grooteplein. The architects have seized this unique location as an opportunity to shape the connecting role of education, research and encounters. The transformation adds an inviting sense of openness as well as a sleek and modern interior and exterior to the existing building. Inside, all installations and services have been replaced by the latest technical and digital innovations with state-of-the-art presentation and AV equipment. The extension has both increased the surface area and, most importantly, drawn a sense of dynamism and creativity into the interior. The new undulating facade integrates the freestanding theatre into the building. At the same time, the neglected outdoor space is roofed over and transformed into the new heart of the building, a dynamic place for encounters and festive gatherings. The continuous glazed facade ensures that the campus and interior are always visible from the other side, and the grand Huize Heijendaal can almost be touched. That ‘Castle of Jurgens’ oversees and inspires future innovations.
Students meet one another throughout the building by chance, at the coffee bar, on the bleachers, or during a lesson or practical simulation. They encounter professionals from the field of practice attending symposiums or training sessions in one of the congress or meeting rooms. That generates interaction and reciprocal inspiration.
The Experience Center is ready for a future in which collaboration in order to learn and innovate is vital. And collaboration and interaction are precisely what thrive throughout this building. That makes the centre an important element of the renewed academic campus within the Masterplan Radboudumc. The plan extends up to 2030, when the opening of the new main building (2022), the demolition of dozens of buildings and the construction of a new connecting landscape will enable the campus to shine to the full.
Experience Center was realized in collaboration with designers Suzanne Holtz Studio (interior) and Copijn (landscape), advisors Deerns, Aronsohn, DVP and Peutz, chief contractor Cornelissen.