In 2023, the University of Groningen (UG) will unite under one roof all parties that play a key role in driving interdisciplinary and innovative teaching and research that is geared towards achieving a greater social impact. For this purpose, the University will be using a magnificent new location on the first and second floors of the Groot Handelshuis on the Grote Markt in Groningen. The location is expected to become a hub for innovative teaching and research and to provide a space for public activities such as presentations by regional employers for students or lectures on research into regional societal issues.
In the new premises, currently being dubbed the ‘House of Connections, the UG will soon bring together staff from its so-called ‘vanguard of connections’ – the four interdisciplinary Schools (in the fields of health, energy, sustainable development, and digitization and artificial intelligence), the networking organization the University of the North, the talented young researchers of the Young Academy Groningen, the innovative teaching platform Teaching Academy Groningen, the partnership of European universities ENLIGHT, and University Services’ impact organization.
Cisca Wijmenga, Rector Magnificus: ‘By bringing these various departments together under one roof in an engaging and accessible location in the middle of society, we are continuing to pursue our strategic objective of making a visible contribution to solving the major challenges in the fields of health, energy, sustainable development, and digitization and artificial intelligence.’
‘Our schools and the University of the North are a perfect match’, says President of the Board of the University, Jouke de Vries. ‘The University of the North stimulates inter- and transdisciplinary research from the northern region. It also brings together entrepreneurs and researchers. Clustering the UG’s key parties at these new premises allows us to push forward together on the previously presented Knowledge Agenda.’
The two floors of the Groot Handelshuis, located in the former V&D building in the heart of Groningen city centre, will have the most flexible layout of any UG building, making it a perfect location for public activities and networking with other knowledge institutions and external parties. Deventer-based architecture firm Studio Groen+Schild has been working on a multifunctional and dynamic interior design concept.
‘One day you might drop by for an exhibition on solutions for a sustainable society’, says interior designer Loran Kampen. ‘And a week later, the building might be accommodating a hundred visitors to a conference on healthy ageing. It’s a multifunctional space with a smart grid. You can use panels, mobile interior elements, and flexible furniture to create the space you need at that particular moment.’
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