A striking low rectangle of a building - a "monolith" says its creators - rises out of the greenery of a Dutch university campus. The truly remarkable Faculty Club at Tilburg University aims to take modernism in a new, open-hearted direction.

What Is The Faculty Club?

The Faculty Club is an exclusive retreat that houses both a restaurant and lounge area for academic staff and their guests. Each facade has just one large opening, as if carved into the monolith. The idea, say Shift, the Rotterdam-based architects responsible for the design, was to create a building that is simultaneously "massive and transparent, silent and outspoken".

Where Did The Inspiration For The Faculty Come From?

This audacious structure re-interprets the style of the visionary Jos Bedaux, the renowned Dutch architect responsible for the monumental modernism of the main buildings on the Tilburg University campus. These 1960s designs are regarded as his masterpieces. The Faculty Club’s meticulous, unadorned form is a more than worthy addition.

The Faculty Club is already a well-deserved award winner, with one architectural jury calling it “beautifully crafted … elegant”, and how, despite its geometric structure, The Faculty Club is at ease with the greenery around it.

Both welcoming and uncompromising, The Faculty Club is a stunning architectural achievement.

All images © René de Wit

Want more of the world’s finest contemporary architecture? Then you need to see Anacapa Architects’ off-grid guest house that cantilevers over a Californian hillside.