In 2013, a new, multi-purpose building opened its doors, right on Leiden Central Station’s doorstep. Level is home to a wide spectrum of users, ranging from a regional college on the first floor to a four-star hotel on the tenth and from a care hotel on the eighth and ninth to a wellness & fitness centre with swimming pool on the eleventh and twelfth. Offices are located throughout the building across all floors. It forms a unique intersection and meeting place for rail passengers, local residents, retail store staff and thousands of college students who go to school here every day.
Green Real Estate
Community College Leiden B.V.
Education, Mixed Use
The first thing that strikes most people about Level when looking at it from the street side is its ‘slatted’ façade. These aluminium slats measuring either 20 or 40 cm in depth create an unusual shadow play when the sun shines on the building, lending the façade an interesting depth and dynamic. Glazing between the slats has a striped relief pattern, which becomes more visible the closer you stand to the building. The building’s two cut-outs are glazed using different colour glass.
An unusual aspect of Level is that it not only accommodates two colleges (ROC Leiden and Boerhaave College), but also a wide range of commercial businesses. We took this into account when designing the building by connecting open spaces and creating a common theme throughout the building. We incorporated these wide open spaces to act as areas in which to meet and mingle. They also provide longer-range views out across Leiden. Conversely passengers and passers-by can see what is going on inside Level from rail platforms or street level.
The central hallway on the ground floor provides plenty of space for shops and other businesses. It has been designed to create a route through the building drom the railway station to the LUMC hospital and the Bargelaan bus stop. It is also a communal area from which to walk up the wide stairway to the ROC college entrance on the first floor. From here, building users can take lifts or secondary stairways across large, open atria to other communal areas. Ascending farther takes you to individual study and workspaces, and more intimate enclosed classrooms.
A particularly appealing aspect of the assignment was the design of ROC Leiden’s interior. We created an interior to match its house style. Colours, icons, patterning and imagery have been used to give each department its own identity and to make them more recognizable and easier to find within the building. We believe that orientation and overview are two critical elements of interior design that help raise a building’s comfort level.
Lighting in Level’s two atria is made up of numerous wall-mounted and hanging light fixtures that have been incorporated into the design. These were designed and developed in collaboration with the lighting manufacturer. Fixtures are 3.6 m tall and provide unique lighting at night, adding a particularly appealing aesthetic touch to its interior.