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The Humanities Campus development continues: North Cluster design process begins

Now that the South Cluster is reaching its concluding phase, we are looking ahead to the next building to be developed in the context of the Humanities Campus: Matthias de Vrieshof (working title: North Cluster).

The design process for a new, modern faculty building on the site of the current Matthias de Vrieshof will begin in the near future. After the renovation has been completed in 2028, it will accommodate the LUCL, part of LUCAS, the Academic Language Centre (ATC), the Dutch Language Institute (INT) and a hub of the University Services Department (UFB).

Excellent workplace with a focus on sustainability

The basic principle for the North Cluster is to make it an attractive, distinctive workplace for the building’s new occupants. A place with abundant daylight, facilitating interaction between students and staff, and also enabling them to work quietly in an excellent environment. The North Cluster will have more than 200 workspaces and about 60 meeting spaces. It will also provide around 670 teaching spaces in three lecture halls and 16 tutorial rooms, and will accommodate the Writing Lab and the Phonetics Lab.

As in the other Humanities Campus buildings, sustainability will be an important focus. The North Cluster will be an energy-neutral building, set within generously designed green spaces. The beautiful inner courtyard garden of the Matthias de Vrieshof will be retained and the design of the new building will make it more easily accessible. There will also be green roofs, and materials will be re-used wherever possible, such as the wood in the ceiling panels.

Planned timeline

A first sketch design for the new building will be ready at the beginning of 2024, when it will be shared with the future users of the North Cluster. Several meetings will be organised with these future users in 2024, so that they can give feedback on the sketch design. The timeline with then be completion of a final design in December 2024, ready to be developed into a technical design. We expect that the contract can be drawn up with the contractor in mid-2025.

After this, all the re-usable materials will be removed and the demolition of the current Matthias de Vrieshof will take place in 2026. Whether the entire building will be demolished or the present structure’s outlines left intact will only become clear in the further design process. In any event, the North Cluster’s image will harmonise with the other faculty buildings on Witte Singel. We expect that the construction phase will start in 2026 and, according to the current timeline, by 2028 our faculty will be proud to have another most attractive and sustainable building.

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