The lab of..Bucky Lab

You never know where this lab might pop up. As a mobile workshop, the Buckylab is able to occupy any space that it can find. It is named after American architect Buckminster Fuller, whose credo was “Whatever you can imagine, you can also build.”

Photo: Sam Rentmeester
Photo: Sam Rentmeester

After a devastating fire of the old architecture building and a move to the current architecture building on the Julianalaan, space came up short for the master's level laboratory. That was when Professor Marcel Bilow came up with the ingenious idea of the mobile lab. Stored in the basement of the architecture building, five enormous boxes on wheels are waiting for their chance to spring open and set up shop. These overgrown toolboxes are filled with hand tools and power tools to be used by the students to create their prototypes.

Each year, a new focus is chosen. This year the students explored the idea of solar shading, essentially innovative ways to block sun and heat from buildings. “The lab gives you a problem to solve. We had to think outside the box for new ideas for facades,” said master’s student Hendrick Lindemann of Germany.  

The novelty of the lab creates a sense of excitement amongst the students. It is obvious that it is not only about the physical lab. The students get a chance to bring their ideas to life. “Most of an architect's time is spent at the desk. Here we get to take it one step further,” explains master’s student Elmar van Cleynenbreugel of Belgium. “We learn more in the workshop than in our whole bachelors. How to make it, not just design it.” 

Lindemann and Van Cleynenbreugel teamed up and fabricated a shade that adjusted according to a person's movements throughout the space, creating an entire vision for the architecture. “People are more important that the building,” said Lindemann.