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HUBB – Learning Environments

Learning is not limited to a single activity. In today’s educational system, no semester is the same when it comes to the curriculum or the teaching methods. Therefore learning environments should be designed in such way that they can respond to changing needs, both in the short and long term.

Mecanoo has teamed up with furniture manufacturer Gispen to create HUBB (known as MECANOO by Gispen in US, Canada and Mexico), an innovative modular furniture collection. HUBB supports dynamic, open and people-oriented learning environments that facilitate a wide range of different activities.

HUBB consists of various elements with a seemingly straightforward basic shape which can be linked to form endless combinations and variations within a learning environment. The modular system allows for the reconfiguration of HUBB elements when requirements change, making the collection a highly sustainable future-proof interior solution.

HUBB has been used as a key ingredient for the transformation of the former central entrance building on the Fontys University of Applied Sciences campus into a multipurpose learning environment. The former entrance, which connects the R3 and R4 educational buildings, was left vacant after the major renovation of R3.

Using HUBB elements the available space was proportionally divided into open, semi-open and closed areas. The result is a dynamic learning landscape that facilitates a wide range of different activities: from a zone for focused study, to collaboration, and zone where one can meet friends and relax.

The design combines regular contract furniture with different HUBB configurations: stand-alone, integrated into the walls, and built into custom-made diner style booths. The layout and clever implementation of HUBB creates a flexible space in which creativity, innovation and identity are encouraged, and where students and teachers can exchange ideas and inspiration.

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Design Team: Mecanoo and Gispen

Programme: Modular furniture collection which includes seating elements, table elements, canopy elements, and add-ons; made from steel, beech wood from reforestation forest, and PET felt; with screw and snap connections instead of glue; integrated lighting and wall socket. The 400 m2 interior renovation at Fontys accommodates approx. 200 students.

Awards: Red Dot Award Product Design 2017; Architizer A+Award,  jury prize and the popular vote in the category Contract Furniture; De Architect, ARCH17 Award in the category of furniture, 2017.

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