UNStudio has announced that it has begun construction work on a new educational building in the netherlands for the delft university of technology (TU delft). named ‘echo’, the multifunctional project has been designed to be as flexible as possible with the architects describing it as a ‘future-proof campus’. ‘as student numbers continue to grow, educational buildings need to be extremely flexible: they not only need to operate for shared, interfaculty use, but also need to house a large variety of flexible spaces that cater for various ways of teaching and studying and varying class sizes,’ explains ben van berkel, founder and principal architect at UNStudio. 

UNStudio TU delft
all images by plompmozes



UNStudio says that ‘echo’ will house a total of seven teaching rooms, most with a flexible layout. the largest lecture hall, which can accommodate 700 people, can be divided into three separate rooms. meanwhile, medium-sized and large teaching rooms can accommodate between 150 and 700 people. in addition to these spaces, there will also be a ‘case-study’ room for motivational teaching and interaction between lecturers and students. in total, the new building will offer space for around 1,700 students in the form of lecture halls, classrooms, and other study spaces.

UNStudio TU delft



however, an equal emphasis has been placed on the project’s ‘in between’ spaces that provide room for reflection, inspiration, and communication. designed to be warm and welcoming to students, staff, and visitors, the building’s interior is defined by two auditoriums that form part of a lively open square. these auditoriums are open where they need to communicate and closed where clear boundaries are required. at specific positions, bamboo ribs extend along the ceiling and wrap around the central staircase in a gesture that promotes physical movement through the building.

UNStudio TU delft



the building’s ground floor has been conceived as a covered public space that serves as an extension of the surrounding streetscape. meanwhile, the structure’s open and transparent skin seeks to make the invisible world of learning a visible and engaging experience. the transparent façades also allow light to flow into the interior spaces, providing a healthy and daylight-stimulated environment.

UNStudio begins work on a 'future-proof campus' for TU delft



in line with TU delft’s sustainability ambitions, the continuous glass façades are interrupted horizontally by deep aluminum awnings that play an important role in the composition of the elevation and keep out excess solar heat. these canopies are interconnected by cables along which climbing plants can grow to form a subtle green façade that filters daylight. solar panels, insulation, and heat and cold storage will also be used in the new energy-generating building. the project is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in december 2021.



project info:


name: echo
location: delft, netherlands
dates: 2017 – 2021

client: TU delft
building surface: 8,844 sqm GFA
building volume: ca. 53,000 m3
building site: ca. 4,000 sqm

program: interfaculty education facility for all faculties including: education spaces, lecture hall, study spots and restaurant
status: under construction


UNStudio: ben van berkel, arjan dingsté with marianthi tatari, jaap-willem kleijwegt, ariane stracke and piotr kluszczynski, thys schreij, mitchel verkuijlen, bogdan chipara, krishna duddumpudi, fabio negozio, ryan henriksen, shangzi tu, xinyu wang, marian mihaescu


advisors —
structural engineer, MEP and building physics: arup
building cost consultant: BBN
contractor: BAM bouw en techniek
visualizations: plompmozes