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Mundaneum of Sustainability | M.Sc. graduation design | Brussels

The concept of the Mundaneum of Knowledge (1929) by Le Corbusier forms the basis for the graduation project of the Mundaneum of Sustainability. Founded by the Belgian philantropist Paul Otlet, the Mundaneum of Knowledge aimed to bring world peace by collecting and sharing knowledge between world citizens.

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Achieving a sustainable way of living will be the biggest challenge of human kind in the 21st century. Sustainability as the interrelationship between our man made world and the biosphere is not pre-defined but is a constant process of improving and learning.

The Mundaneum of Sustainability aims to be a place for engagement and learning to improve and deepen the awareness and consciousness of this interrelationship with each individual citizen.To achieve this goal rain water (a natural resource) is utilized as an educational tool, an architectural element,to create public space (by means of a transparent swimming pool), and for purposes of building climatization.

The design features a central cone shaped atrium, in reference to a cooling- or water tower. The atrium contains two central rain water basins, one in the top of the  atrium, with a transparent casing, and one as a ‘pond’ on the ground floor level. The two water basins function within the building energy concept as a thermal mass for heat/cold storage.

A ‘learning’ route leads the visitor along a series of exhibition spaces,  using rain water to trigger the five core human senses. Current topics on sustainability are explained, and a conference center, library and public restaurant and pool allow the visitor to reflect and discuss.

Mundaneum of Sustainability

M.Sc. Graduation Project

Brussels 2009 / 2011

designer: Peter de Ruijter 

mentors: Prof. ir. M. Riedijk / Prof. dr. ir. A. Van den Dobbelsteen / N. Deboutte




  1. Pingback: Um bibliotecário chamado Paul Otlet « Intuição Criativa - March 14, 2012

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