Preparations started for partial demolition Spinoza building
The lower part of the Spinoza building, where Social Sciences researchers used to work, will be demolished next Summer. It is not yet decided what will happen to the rest of the building, which is empty at the moment.
Because of the corona crisis, there aren’t many people in the Maria Montessori building yet. The brand new home of the Faculty of Social Sciences has been in use since the beginning of this year.
A stone’s throw away, there’s the now abandoned Spinoza building. The offices have been emptied. The classrooms are also unused right now, but that too is due to the corona crisis.
The lower part of the Spinoza building – also known as Spinoza B – will be taken down next Summer. The preparations for that are made now. The laboratories that were housed there, have been moved to the Montessori building. The adjacent Thomas van Aquinostraat 8, with mostly smaller classrooms, is also on the demolition list. The tropical inside garden and the D.E. Café will disappear, just like the underground parking.
For now, not the whole Spinoza building will go. The bigger classrooms on the ground floor will stay in use for educational purposes, when the corona measures allow it. And the tower will also be spared, even though right now it only functions as a place to store furniture. It is also still unclear what will fill the space of the demolished low building.
Koen Fleuren, head of Campus Development at Campus & Facilities, says that the university wants to finish a campus plan this summer, which will make clear what the future of the building and its surroundings will be.
On the inside, the Montessori building is completely ready, but the space around it is still under construction. On the east and south side of the building, a park-like area is constructed. In the forest on the south side, between campus and the Houtlaan, a lot of trees have been chopped down in the past few months. The forest was damaged by the European spruce bark beetle. The university will plant a lot of new flora there, says Koen Fleuren, starting with a hundred trees this month.
The Executive Board is considering several scenarios. Before corona, the university was thinking about a new destination for the Erasmus building, with a mix of functions like student housing, a hotel and conference space. To make that possible, employees of the Faculty of Arts would have to temporarily move to the Spinoza building.
Another idea was a new building for the Faculty of Arts, at the spot where the Spinoza building is now. If the university chooses that scenario, the whole building will eventually have to be demolished.
The corona crisis has changed everything. Almost everyone works from home now, and that also has some advantages. A majority of the staff would like to work from home one day or more after corona, a staff survey showed. The board wants to stimulate this. Because of that, less office space might be needed in the future.