Charlotte Mulder

Charlotte Mulder


Reserve Ruimte

Spare Space
For an innovative energy campus


Spare Space concerns the transformation of a sloping and park-like business estate in Arnhem. While searching for a new and suitable function for both the site and the buildings, the concept of ‘spare space’ inspired me at various levels. This inspiration has led to the development of an innovative energy campus with various laboratories for students and start-ups.     

The buildings on the site were built for a specific function, which expired following the departure of KEMA, the former user. The buildings have unique shapes and characters, often with large empty spaces that I consider spare spaces. The location of the new program is determined on the basis of the landscape qualities and contextual elements of the existing environment. In particular, the stream, high-voltage network and the sloping landscape play a role. For each building, I make use of the spare space’ and carry out an intervention to make it suitable for a new function. In my own way, I continue KEMA’s philosophy of allowing existing buildings to grow. The new interventions are designed in such a way that they grow with the existing and subtly form a new layer of time.     

There is a great need for innovations within the energy transition. The energy campus offers space for collaboration between start-ups and students to inspire and strengthen each other. Various buildings are assigned as test locations for different forms of energy, such as solar and wind, aquathermal, and new forms of nuclear power. Nuclear energy is rapidly developing, but it is also the most controversial. This form of energy has the biggest impact, which is why I am working on the development of a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) as a potential new use for existing buildings. The process of an SMR is divided into three parts, each housed in an existing and suitable building on the site: cooling, the steam transformer and the nuclear reactor. Around the energy interventions, there is space for additional facilities in each building, such as study and office places and laboratories.     

The new program for an innovative energy campus adds a suitable time layer. Both the site and the buildings are resilient and provide space for new developments. The result is an energy campus where encounters, education and innovation are stimulated in order to strengthen collaboration between students and start-ups. 


Graduation date: 23 August 2023
Graduation committee: Machiel Spaan (mentor), Jarrik Ouburg, Bram Breedveld
Additional members for the exam: Pnina Avidar, Rogier van den Brink

Back to list