University of Antwerp – City Campus
The historic center of Antwerp boasts a true city campus called “Mutsaard Campus”. Its heart is a composition of classical and neoclassical buildings with courtyards in a typical combination of brick and beige limestone.
The large open space at the center of the campus bursts as a surprise of light, openness and freshness, where the rhythm of seasons and nature becomes perceivable in the middle of the city.
Like its famous English and American counterparts, the project is conceived as a green space to meet, relax and go across. To enhance the experience, the lawn space is contained by a circular hedge and raised towards the center, thus subtly disobeying and challenging the architectural perception of the square.
The circular hedge is doubled at regular distances to serve as a background for benches and gives a rhythm to the perimeter of the circle. The residual corners of the square are filled with tall hornbeam groves planted on a grid and clipped in a jagged form, looking to the center of the space.