The alchemist

Architecture consists largely of placing
something between earth and sky.
Eero Saarinen

It is not easy to create a new building within the set frame of a classical, yet dated building from Van den Broek and Bakema. Between the building of Civil Engineering and the new building of Geosciences at Delft University of Technology, a space was formed between these two buildings, that is supposed to connect the two. Here an artwork was required.


After a briefing at Geosciences (the client) it became clear that more sustainable forms of mining and drilling are key issues for the future. But why not take it a step further, even though it is still an illusion? Saturnus is one of the best examples to connect mass with the illusion of mass. The whole height of the building is used to make a connection between the two buildings and accentuate the height of the in-between space.

Blue neon has been applied to emphasise the long elegant tubes. This way a late cyclist or pedestrian has a wonderful idea of The Alchemist: a connection between science and possibly an open view.