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Also known as TU Delft, Delft University is the largest and oldest public Dutch technical university. Constructed in the 1960s, the large, brutalist concrete Aula or General Assembly Hall from Van den Broek & Bakema overshadowed the site for the new library and the university needed a campus atmosphere which included lawns with flowers and trees where students and professors could meet informally on broad stairs. The original 1997 intensive greenroof over the library was replaced in 2009. The 15,000 m² library contains extensive underground book archives, reading rooms, the university publisher, offices, Trésor for historical books and exhibitions, study spaces, and a book binder and book shop.
Mecanoo designed the Delft University of Technology Library as a sloped plane, extending the grass from the ground to the very edge of the roof. The structure appears to rise out of the earth, covered with soft grass for all sorts of recreation and pierced by its iconic steel cone. The roof is supported by slender, splayed steel columns in a huge hall enclosed with canted, fully glazed walls. Extending forty meters above grade and floodlit at night, the cone acts as a beacon on the campus day and night. The cone houses four levels of traditional study spaces connected by a helical stair. A suspended gallery of books against cobalt blue walls runs right through all four levels. Within the cone, a central void provides daylight from a glazed roof to the internal reading spaces. The new greenroof system by ZinCo Benelux has a fully adhered two layered roofing system on a cellular glass insulation and ZinCo Elastodrain. The lightweight 6 inch deep substrate and lawn roof is freely accessible for walking and lounging, creating a new amenity for the whole campus. Enjoyed throughout the year, the greenroof is converted into a sledding hill in the winter for further recreation.
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Greenroofs.com Project of the Week video photo credits: Mecanoo, ©Christian Richters and ©Harry Cock; ZinCo; Aula TU Delft via Broekbakema: http://www.broekbakema.nl/alleprojecten/aula-tu-delft/; and IMAG0057.jpg by Haider Hussain via TU Delft weblog: https://haiderhussain.weblog.tudelft.nl/2012/02/12/blues-karting/.