An artwalk through the campus

It may sound odd to talk of a technical university as an art destination, but the TU Delft campus has some very interesting public art pieces. Some right there in the centre and others hidden away in quiet corners of different Faculties.

“Art should be integral to every university, even a technical one like ours. Though not all the artwork on campus is accessible, or even well maintained, the university has a great collection of sculptures, installations and paintings,” said Marion Vredeling, the programme manager of the TU Delft Library and the university’s resident art enthusiast.

Vredeling, who researched TU’s art history extensively, explained, “At one point there was a rule in the Netherlands that one per cent of the total budget of public (university) buildings had to be spent on art.”

From original works by famous Dutch artist Karel Appel to a French garden nestled in the most unlikely faculty, the university showcases some impressive works. Next time you have family in town or are out for a walk with date, show off your university’s fabulous art. 

1. The Secret of the Nano
The blue spider rising out of the water is an artistic celebration of nanotechnology. Created by Dutch artist Marijke de Goey, the lights inside the sculpture make for a stunning view at night.

2. Fermented Bread Under A Microscope 
The Botanical Garden has many pieces of art but one of the most important is a giant petri dish made by Dutch artist Dick Elffers. The sculpture depicts fermented bread under a microscope and was commissioned to celebrate 100 years of DSM.

3. French Garden and Giant Chess
One interior courtyard in the Chemical Engineering Faculty contains a beautiful French garden though the origins are unknown. Another courtyard in the building contains a giant and playable chessboard.

4.  Grande Spiral
Made by famous French sculptor Marta Pan, it designed to revolve in the wind. Initially kept in outside, it was damaged by the wind and eventually placed behind glass panels, visible from in and outside the building.

5. Concrete Lips
Presented to the university in 2011, the sculpture is made from self-healing concrete.

6. Galileo Thermometer
The thermometer is based on the Archimedes principle and was made students of the Applied Physics programme in 2010.

7. Floppy Towers
Constructed by Wim Schermer and a team of students in 2012, the Floppy Towers are part of the Mekelpark Experimental Garden which is a space for innovative engineering and art projects. The tower was unfortunately damaged earlier this year by severe winds.

8. The Salami
The work was designed in 1966 by Dutch artist Carel Visser to be reminiscent of chopped salami. It’s functional art, so feel free to sit on it on a sunny day.

9. EWICON
This is mock-up of an electrostatic wind energy converter which was made to celebrate the ongoing research in this field at the university and its partner collaborators.

10. The Ship Propeller
The creator, Karel Appel, is among the foremost contemporary Dutch artists. His marble mosaic was made in 1955 and stands in lobby of the building.

11. Implosion
It by German artist Ewerdt Hilgemann and vacuumised live in front of a TU Delft audience in 1992.