Construction of alternative Humanities Campus is feasible
Leiden University can build an alternative Humanities Campus on its own available land at the current location in the city. This is the conclusion of a feasibility study and is what the mayor and aldermen of Leiden write in a letter to the city council.
The University has investigated the possibilities for a Faculty of Humanities campus where the houses on Doelengracht remain where they are and the University realises a smaller programme of construction.
New teaching building
The University is pleased with the results of the study. In essence, the current Reuvens building will increase in size and will therefore be able to become a teaching building for students. A smaller building, Lipsius South, will take the place of the current Lipsius building, which will be demolished. This Lipsius South building will be a central student facilities building on the square with, among others, information and student desks.
Pleasant working environment
The entire Humanities Campus will have approximately 5,500 square metres less floor area than in the previous plans. There will no longer be any student housing on the site, and less office space will be available. A pleasant new working environment will be created, in which workspaces will be used in a different way, thus reducing the amount of office space needed. It is also expected that staff will continue with hybrid working after the coronavirus crisis has ended.
Central green square
A central green city square, adjacent to the Reuvens and Lipsius South buildings, will become part of the Singelpark route. Visitors, University students and staff, Singelpark users and Leiden residents will be able to spend time here and meet one another.
Due to these new choices and insights, the previously adopted urban plan has to be changed on a few points: for instance, limited changes to building volumes and heights. Together with an experienced external partner, a participation plan will be implemented that has been assessed by the municipal executive. The University will start a participation process in the coming months, in which it will enter into dialogue with the municipality and city stakeholders. It will hold its first meeting before the summer and will invite local residents, businesses in the area and other stakeholders to attend. The University aims to open the new Humanities Campus in 2029.
Martijn Ridderbos, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of the University: ‘We have done our very best to put together a new programme that can serve as the basis for a modified urban plan, within the framework offered. In this new design, the campus will provide the facilities required for the high-quality research and teaching at the Faculty of Humanities. The open character of the buildings will facilitate further cooperation with various partners. We are looking forward to a new campus with space for a city park where staff, students and the residents of the city can meet and spend time.’
The municipality is pleased that Leiden University has taken concrete steps in planning for an alternative Humanities Campus that retains the Doelen complex and thus provides clarity on the process to be followed and the next steps to be taken.