The former Stock Exchange at Wirdumerdijk 34 in Leeuwarden has recently been chosen as the new Faculty building
of the University of Groningen/Campus Fryslân. The Frisian J.O.N.G.architecten firm from Lemmer has been asked to prepare a design proposal for the renovation of the Faculty building. The Faculty is due to open its doors to the general public and students in 2018.
The Frisian Faculty’s location in the city centre of Leeuwarden makes it possible to preserve the important public function of this historical building, which dates from 1880. ‘First it was a stock exchange, then a library and now it will become a university building. This is possible thanks to the clear layout of the building, with many interconnected rooms’, says Kees de Haan of J.O.N.G.architecten. ‘We are going to try to rekindle the building’s splendour with modern teaching and research rooms. 100% old right next to 100% new, we think that will result in an exciting university building. We can’t wait to get to work with this monument by the former city architect Romein.”
The building provides learning and research accommodation for about 1000 students (Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD). UG/CF offers a three-year Bachelor’s degree programme (University College), a number of Master’s degree programmes and a graduate school. The degree programmes will link international problems to local solutions. ‘Students at Campus Fryslân will learn to apply theoretical knowledge of issues in global society to regional cases, such as in social sciences, natural and health sciences and information technology’, says Dean Prof. Jouke de Vries. All degree programmes are taught in English. The Faculty actively seeks collaboration with other educational and research institutes, the City of Leeuwarden, the Province of Fryslân and the Northern Netherlands in general.‘Now that an architect has been selected, we are ready to take the next step. The Stock Exchange building will be the heart of our City Campus and will thus be an essential part of Campus Fryslân’, De Vries emphasises.
The building will accommodate studios, living labs, community lounges, break out rooms, work stations and lecture halls. Preparations for the renovation will take place in 2016-2017. The renovation of the Stock Exchange building can begin as soon as the public library relocates to the Blokhuispoort. The University College is due to open its doors in the academic year 2018-2019.
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