The area around the Antonius Deusinglaan, the north entrance of the Healthy Ageing Campus in Groningen, will be transformed over the coming years into an attractive urban campus. The first building project by the University of Groningen (UG) at this location will be the realization of a new teaching centre for the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Science & Engineering (especially for the degree programmes in Pharmacy). Recently, architectural firm KAAN Architecten from Rotterdam was selected to design the teaching centre. They will develop their design concept further over the coming period. Meanwhile, during this calendar year, the UG and UMCG will start several preparatory operations to make the site ready for construction.
The new teaching building of around 11,000 m2 will be located next to the ERIBA building, near the new UMCG proton therapy centre. It will function as a new entrance building to the campus when departing from the city centre of Groningen and will include, among other things, classrooms and project rooms of various sizes, a study environment, a food court and a covered bicycle parking area. In addition, flexible workstations will be installed to be used by lecturers in between their teaching activities. There will be room for around 2,000 staff members and students in the teaching centre, which will replace the old teaching rooms at Antonius Deusinglaan 2.
According to Hans Biemans, member Executive Board of the UG, the realization of the new, sustainable teaching centre has been highly desired by the UG and UMCG for years. It is an important first step towards the renovation of the north entrance of the Healthy Ageing Campus. ‘All of the teaching activities that are currently spread across multiple – sometimes outdated – buildings can now be brought together in a sustainable manner to one location. We can start using new facilities for innovative and small-scale teaching and really give the campus its own presence in the city.’
The UMCG is also happy with this development. Henk Snapper, member of the UMCG Board of Management, adds: ‘At the UMCG, we want to innovate and excel. We are therefore proud to be able to establish this lively location at the north entrance of the Healthy Ageing Campus. In addition to research and teaching, there will also be various food and drinks outlets. The teaching centre is one of the many large-scale construction programmes that we are going to develop in the coming years. This is necessary partly because some of our buildings are outdated but also because healthcare is changing. At the UMCG, we are literally and figuratively constructing the future of health.’In the coming years, the UMCG will undergo large-scale expansion and renewal, including the development of the Central Medical Complex, the University Centre for Psychiatry, Medical Support and this north entrance, as well as the Beatrixoord centre in Haren.
Vincent Panhuysen of KAAN Architecten is delighted that the firm was selected for this design project. ‘Educational locations are always interesting architectural challenges and so we are very excited to bring our concept to life. The new teaching centre will give a new, fresh identity to this part of the campus while, at the same time, connecting and strengthening the surrounding buildings.’ KAAN Architecten is an internationally operating firm of architects and is known for its designs of the public library and Academy For Performing Arts in Aalst, Flanders, and the new airport terminal at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. In addition, KAAN has plenty of experience in designing projects for educational institutes, including for the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.
The entire design team that will realize the design for the teaching centre over the coming period comprises:
In preparation for the building project, contractors will begin making the site at the north entrance of the Healthy Ageing Campus ready for construction over the course of this year. More information about this will follow. The preliminary design of the teaching centre is expected to be completed around the end of 2020, after which the tendering procedure for construction of the project will begin. The actual construction work is expected to start in mid-2021.
The north entrance of the Healthy Ageing Campus, an area of around 27,000 m2, will be transformed into a vibrant, sustainable and hospitable urban environment for teaching, research, culture, sport and recreation. The teaching centre, a University College Groningen building and an Usva (cultural student centre) building will surround a dynamic and pedestrian-only square.
The public space of the campus will have an open connection to the city centre. The buildings around the square will feature room for catering and retail outlets on the ground floor. This has all been set out in a Spatial Masterplan. A sophisticated public transportation hub will be constructed between now and the summer of 2021 to improve accessibility. In addition, underground or indoor bicycle parking has been incorporated into the plans.
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