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New pop-up lounge area at Mercator on Zernike Campus

11 November 2021

A new, bright place to relax, meet and eat will rise between the Mercator buildings of the University of Groningen on the Zernike Campus in early 2022. It will offer both indoor and outdoor seating and various facilities such as restaurants, plenty of greenery and also studio space for the education of the growing Faculty of Spatial Sciences (FRW).

The reason for the pop-up lounge is twofold: it fulfils the ambition of FRW to form an international community with staff and students. In addition, the current canteen space on the ground floor of the Smitsborg can be freed up to solve the space problems of the Centre for Information Technology (CIT) located there. Future users of the lounge area have contributed to the design.

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The new lounge area is a temporary construction that will probably eventually make way for a permanent meeting place at this location, especially for students and staff of FRW and CIT, but also of the adjacent Faculty of Economics and Business in the Duisenberg Building and other users.

Light and lively

The new, transparent and semi-air-conditioned lounge is a kind of 'greenhouse' with several entrances. It can be entered from Mercator, but is separate from the existing buildings. It will be a construction of transparent polycarbonate and aluminium, creating a light and lively atmosphere, similar to the existing Food Court at Kapteynborg on the campus.


Despite its temporary nature, sustainable and comfortable solutions have been chosen, such as gasless heating, floor and wall insulation and sun blinds. In addition, the greenhouse is fully demountable and can be rebuilt at a different location after use.

Part of larger development plan

A new lounge area at this campus location is part of a larger plan to upgrade the entire complex and the surroundings of Mercator and the 'Rekenhal'. The reason for this is that the Faculty of Spatial Sciences needs space and functionality for new forms of education, more space for meeting people and a recognisable image of the Mercator. In addition, the Rekenhal will eventually become partly vacant due to the realisation of the new data centre on the campus. The overall plan is still being worked on.


Architectural and constructive elaboration

Archipunt BV, Groningen
Advisor fire safety Peutz BV, Haren
Construction Nobutec Greenhouse projects, Wateringen
Landscaping Antea Group, Heerenveen

Electrical and mechanical installations

Last modified:11 November 2021 11.55 a.m.
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