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Campus Development 09/2015 ”You are more creative in these inspiring surroundings,” says Michael Reibel Boesen Inspiring working environment Building 324’s façade and its interior walls are made of glass. Together with the skylights, it ensures that daylight floods into all the rooms. On the ground floor, there are 24 black olive trees growing between the classrooms, so that staff and students in the lounge area can work beneath the tree canopies. The classrooms are different sizes. They accommodate 20–60 students, and each room has various ‘break-out’ zones where students can work in groups as part of their course. Another innovative element in Building 324 is that the classrooms are all equipped with state-of-the-art AV equipment. Two projectors in each classroom provide ample digital blackboard space. In addition, cameras have been installed in all the rooms so that lessons can be streamed live to the Internet or transmitted to other rooms in the building. Students not sitting in the classrooms can ‘digitally’ raise their hands by sending a text message to the lecturer, who displays the messages on a big screen. Michael Reibel Boesen finds the new interior an inspiring place to work. ‘You think more creatively in inspiring surroundings. It’s difficult to say exactly why, but it has something to do with the light and the fact that you can either be with other people or choose to retire to your own office. Because the building is so transparent, you feel as though you are sitting in one large room, even though you can’t hear one another. Consequently, there is a sense of togetherness without a lot of noise,’ he says. Good for innovation Michael Reibel Boesen says that some employees obviously prefer not to share offices with others, and this will always be a challenge. And the noise from other people working can indeed be a problem. For him though, the advantages of closer contact far outweigh any disadvantages. ‘DTU Compute is a huge department, so it’s impossible for me to have an overview of all the research that is going on. Consequently, it’s sometimes very helpful to get the latest updates when bumping into people in the corridor,’ he says. And a building that promotes informal meetings is also a good environment for the projects Michael Reibel Boesen is involved with through the AppGarage and for innovation and start-ups in general. ‘The step from research to start-up is potentially smoother in an open building. You are forced out of your comfort zone and meet students and colleagues in unexpected contexts, which is extremely conducive to innovation.’ FACTS Building 324 Building 324 is an example of how good physical surroundings attract people. The open lounge areas on the ground floor are used by DTU Compute students, but also frequently by students from other departments, who come to sit and study in the light and open surroundings beneath the shady branches of the 24 black olive trees. Building 324 is home to DTU Compute—Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, which occupies the first and second floors, while the ground floor is designated as joint teaching facilities with six classrooms. The building integrates intensive research activities with intensive teaching and is equipped with the latest AV equipment with lots of digital blackboard space and the possibility of live streaming of lectures to other rooms and online. Christensen & Co. designed the 4,600 m2 building, which has cost DKK 99.5 million to realize. It was completed in 2013. Transforming DTU 27


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