Leiden - 2013

Structural brainstorming between client and architect can lead to surprising ideas. In this case of the Amphitorium the architect was looking for an installation space outside the building – for the heat pump machinery – while the client revealed a cherished wish to create an outdoor lecture space. The possible synergy appeared and the architect started his research and design.

The design had to be finished in two weeks, because it had to be handed in as part of a complicated zoning procedure. Inspired by the amphitheatre of Marta Pan in Otterloo, Mirck proposed an optimal amphitheatre for an audience of 50 students, made of big round granite stones. The volume starts perfectly in its central axis, but deviates at its edges. The same big stones form a seemingly irregular staircase, creating interaction with the garden.

The construction was exciting, also for the beautiful old Magnolia tree nearby: would it survive? Fortunately it did, and now it casts her comfortable shadow on the Amphitorium. Last but not least, hidden under its slope, the highly sustainable heating and cooling system for the ITC Annex is operating.

  • Building: Amphitorium ITC
  • Client: International Tax Center Leiden
  • Address: Rapenburg 65, Leiden, NL
  • Floor area: 30m2
  • Design: 2011-2012
  • Construction: 2012-2013
  • Team: Sander Mirck, David K├╝nzel, Annemarijn Haarink
  • Installations engineer: ABT, Delft
  • Photography: Katja Effting