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Construction work for Faculty of Law starts with handing over of 'poem stone' Kopland

12 January 2022

The floor stone with a poem by Rutger Kopland from the former Public Library at the Oude Boteringestraat 18 has been secured for the duration of the construction work. On Monday 10 January, Hanneke van den Berg, manager of operations of the Faculty of Law handed over this special stone to the contractors Visser Smit Bouw and HOMIJ Technische Installaties as a symbolic kick off to the conversion of the building into the faculty's new home. The 'poem stone' will be on display again in a nice new spot in the building when the staff and students move in, in 2023.

"The renovation will result in a beautiful home for our faculty," says Van den Berg. "The remarkable building will have an open and transparent character and many meeting areas. The Faculty looks forward to the connection between staff from different departments and of course the interaction with our students in one joint building. I am happy that the construction works have started now, and we can't wait to move ino the building!”

Nice new spot

Jos Roewen and Jan Nauta, directors of Visser & Smit Bouw and HOMIJ Technische Installaties respectively, received the Kopland 'poem stone' from Van den Berg. "We'll take good care of it," says Roewen. "And make sure it gets a nice spot in the building. We are proud that we are asked to carry out this special renovation for the UG. It is a beautiful building that has a great significance for the city. The architects' combination Cruz y Ortiz / Inbo, has beautifully implemented the design vision of the original architect Grassi. Now it's up to us to make the building really suitable as a faculty building for the UG. We are really excited to start.”

'Poem stone' by Kopland

The poem by Rutger Kopland (1934-2012), chiselled in natural stone, was located at the entrance to the Belcampo reading café in the former public library. He wrote it at the request of the cultural department of the city of Groningen for a poster that would not only be hung at various locations in the city, but would also be immortalised in stone on the library floor. Kopland lived in Glimmen and, besides being one of the Netherlands' most popular poets, he was also a professor of biological psychiatry at the University of Groningen.

His poem on the floor stone is intended to make the observer stop for a moment: the text evokes confusion and has ambiguity in the language.

(impression of the poem in English)

In Groningen

Je bent in Groningen, maar hier
ben je dat niet, dit is een onbekende
plek, dit is een gedicht in
deze stad

waarin je al die jaren kwam en
ging, door altijd zon, altijd regen,
altijd wind, totdat je hier
stond, en dit las.

Je kwam en gaat weer weg, ook nu.
Zo zal het blijven tussen ons, ik ben een
onbekende plek.

Rutger Kopland

In Groningen

You are in Groningen, but here
you are not, this is an unknown
place, this is a poem in
this city

where you came all these years and
went, ever through sun, ever rain,
ever wind, until here you
stood, and read this.

You came and you leave again, even now.
Thus it will remain between us, I am an
unknown place.

Rutger Kopland

Walk-in information session

The contractor invites local residents (and anyone interested) to drop by on Wednesday 19 January 2022 for a walk-in information session. During this walk-in, there will be the opportunity to ask questions and to receive additional information about the planned work and possible construction nuisance. Everyone is requested to register in advance via

Date: Wednesday 19 January 2022
Time: 14.00 - 16.00 hours
Location: Oude Boteringestraat 18


Constructor Visser & Smit Bouw
in cooperation with Homij Technische Installaties


Cruz y Ortiz / Inbo

Amsterdam and Heerenveen

Construction Advisor



Installation Advisor

Syperda Hardy


Building physics and fire safety Advisor



More information

The construction activities for the Faculty of Law can be followed on

Last modified:28 February 2022 10.04 a.m.
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