TU Delft receives grant from Getty Foundation for research into restoration of Aula Building

News - 12 October 2018 - Communication

In the coming years, TU Delft will be conducting research into the possible restoration and modernisation of the Aula Building, which is a listed monument in the Netherlands. The Getty foundation in Los Angeles has awarded a grant of € 146,000 as part of its Keeping It Modern initiative focused on the conservation of 20th-century architecture around the world. The research to be conducted will culminate in a conservation management plan that includes recommendations on the building’s monumental value, its potential modernisation and guidance for its further conservation in the future. No decision has yet been made on any restoration.

The heart of academic life
The Getty Foundation grant acknowledges the architectural and cultural significance of TU Delft's Aula Building among modern buildings at an international level. The Aula Building is the venue for the highlights of academic life: PhD conferral ceremonies, inaugural and valedictory addresses, symposia, the opening of the academic year, Foundation Day (Dies Natalis) and lectures. 

Textbook example of Brutalism
The Aula Building was built in 1966, based on a design by Jo van den Broek and Jaap Bakema. Its plasticity and the use of unpolished concrete has led to it being considered a textbook example of Brutalism. The building’s architecture and urban design has made it one of the youngest buildings to enjoy protection as a listed monument (since 2009). The Aula Building consists of a main auditorium, lecture halls and senate room, an elevated walkway and a concrete artwork by Carel Visser. Above all, it is the protruding concrete dish of the main auditorium and the ribbed roof that gives the Aula Building its unique appearance. 

The research will be conducted in alliance with Campus & Real Estate and Heritage & Architecture in TU Delft's Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and will focus on the building’s history in the context of its functional and spatial positioning on campus. Put another way: what key principles determined the design and construction; what are the properties of the concrete; how has the building been used over the years and what changes have there been in its immediate environment? 

More information
Please visit the Getty Foundation's website and Getty press release.

For more information, please contact Michel van Baal, press officer, M.vanBaal@tudelft.nl, +31 6 - 14 01 56 99.

For substantive information about the project, please contact project leader Wessel de Jonge, professor of Heritage & Architecture in TU Delft's Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, W.deJonge@tudelft.nl