First lectures in Wijnhaven
On Monday 30 January, some 550 students from the International Studies programme in The Hague were the first to enter the largest lecture hall in the new Wijnhaven building. Here they were personally greeted by the Rector Magnificus of Leiden University and an alderwoman from the Municipality of The Hague.
Leiden University’s new building, Wijnhaven, has officially opened. This was celebrated with students and staff on Monday morning. ‘Welcome students, international and Dutch alike, to this beautiful new lecture hall. I am proud of all who made this possible. Now we really are a university in two cities,’ were the words of Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker as he gave the floor to Alderwoman Ingrid van Engelshoven. Holder of the Knowledge Economy and Education portfolio of the Municipality of The Hague, Van Engelshoven had provided a grant that helped make the redevelopment of Wijnhaven possible. ‘We are pleased to welcome you to our beautiful city. We hope that you have a fantastic time here and that a bright future lies ahead of you. City, state and the world come together in The Hague.’
With Wijnhaven Leiden University now has an imposing building in the heart of the centre, which is part of its ambitious plans for growth in The Hague. Some 3,500 students will attend classes there, and there is also plenty of space for them to study alone or with others. Wijnhaven is the new home of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs in The Hague, but researchers and lecturers from the other six faculties will also work there. |In addition, Delft University of Technology is represented on the fifth floor and a high-tech studio has been built for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Classrooms and silent study areas
Wijnhaven offers almost 14,000 m2 of teaching and research facilities including 630 study spaces, 280 silent study spaces, 140 study spaces with computers, a library, an information desk, an area for study associations and workspaces for about 250 members of the University staff. There are five small and large lecture halls and 21 smaller classrooms with flexible walls. The Centre for Innovation’s Future Lab is on the first floor. The first thing you see as you enter the building is the coffee corner, and on the first floor is a coffee bar and a restaurant.
Meeting and flexibility
The new building, which is open seven days a week, has plenty of sockets for electronic equipment and the movable furniture is hip and inviting. Director of Campus The Hague Jolanda Riel says, ‘Our main concerns when designing the building were meeting and flexibility. We think we have achieved this. Here in the open spaces, students and staff can meet, both formally and informally, but silent areas are also important: concentration and reflection are essential to study and research. There are plenty of such spaces.’ Project Manager Frans Dekker from Leiden University adds, ‘It is noisy in the centre of the building but the higher up and the further into the wings you go, the quieter it becomes.'
Breeding ground for talent
The University has a lot to offer the city. Its aim is to become a breeding ground for the talent needed for innovation, start-ups and postgraduate studies. The new premises in the former ministry in Wijnhavenkwartier joins the existing locations on Schouwburgstraat and Anna van Buerenplein, University College’s 21-storey tower complete with student accommodation. Notice has been given on Stichthage, the building above Centraal Station that the University was renting.