The Learn’d / KAAN Architecten

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The short film, directed by Victor Vroegindeweij (The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling, Hazazah Pictures), is a two and a half minutes narrative capturing the Education Center of Erasmus MC, an intervention designed by KAAN Architecten, that transformed an abandoned external atrium into an enlightened inner square.

The Education Center is part of the Rotterdam academic hospital Erasmus MC, originally designed in 1965 by Arie Hagoort (OD205) in collaboration with Jean Prouvé, and recently extended by EGM architecten. Since its completion in 2013, the new building has merged all medical student programmes under one column-free roof.

The narrative bonds the poetry of light and space of the Education Center with Walt Whitman’s written lyric one. A deep voice reciting “When I heard the learn’d astronomer” from Leaves of Grass meets the sharp harmony of forms, diverse material’s temperatures, and ethereal light of the roof geometry in a crescendo of tension. The discreet presence of two young figures, running and hiding themselves, is changing the focus of the stills and gives shape to an unconventional reading of the building’s structure and its elements.

“The Education Center is part of an imposing medical city, a post-war concrete jungle shaped by pragmatism and cost-cut” says Vroegind

The short film has been realized in occasion of the shortlist nomination for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015. It is part of the exhibition that opened its doors on May 8th, 2015 at the MUHBA Oliva Artés center in Barcelona.