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The story so far

The Faculty of Humanities’ accommodation needs to be modernised. The education and research buildings are seriously outdated and non-sustainable, which could ultimately compromise the quality of our education..

Why the redevelopment?

The main reason for redevelopment is that the Faculty of Humanities’ buildings are no longer fit for the purpose of delivering modern, future-proof education. The buildings are outdated and non-sustainable, and their layout is far from ideal. The building services need to be replaced, disabled access is not optimum and the education facilities, dating back more than 30 years, do not meet today’s requirements.

The layout of the area could also be improved: it has many parked bicycles and very little green space, which makes it quite uninviting as a place for students, teaching staff and visitors to spend time. The buildings have an inward orientation, offering few opportunities for students and teaching staff to work together and meet informally. The Faculty also needs more space to accommodate the rapid expansion of study programmes.

Photo: Monique Shaw.

The Faculty’s vision

An area that is green, sunny and safe, and is also more accessible: these are just a few key aspects of the future vision for the Campus. This vision was written by the Faculty of Humanities, including input from surveys of students, staff and visitors, which gave a clear picture of the requirements that the new Campus should meet. This future vision is set out in the Humanities Campus Concept document (note: in Dutch only), which is also available at the Humanities Campus exhibition in Lipsius, the central education building.

The new Humanities Campus: a green, sunny and safe design. Photo: Monique Shaw.

History of the project

The University spent more than five years exploring the possible ways to accommodate the Faculty of Humanities. Together with KCAP Architects&Planners, it considered many options, and stakeholders in the city also examined a variant of the campus. The University and Leiden City Council ultimately found that the most future-proof of these was the Campus Model, which would involve demolishing a housing complex situated next to the current Lipsius Building. In 2017, the City Council decided to elaborate this model into an Urban Development

The City Council’s decision was made subject to an important condition: a suitable customised solution for alternative accommodation had to be offered to the residents of the housing complex. In April 2019, the City Council informed the residents about three housing locations in Leiden city centre: on Waardgracht, Kaiserstraat (Plexus) and Langegracht (near the Stadsbouwhuis). The City Council and the University wish to take residents’ wishes into account as far as possible in the relocation plans.

A participation procedure for producing the Urban Development Plan and Visual Quality Plan was organised by the City Council, after which the plans were made available for public inspection. The Executive Committee of the City Council then decided in favour of the plans and proceeded to adopt them. On 12 September 2019, at a meeting of the City Council’s Urban Development Committee, several Leiden residents took the opportunity to express their views about the plans. The City Council finally made a positive decision on 17 October 2019.

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