The North Entrance Healthy Ageing Campus is set to become a lively, sustainable and welcoming city square where teaching, research, culture, sports and recreation come together. Sibrand Poppema of the UG and Jos Aartsen of the UMCG signed a general agreement on the development of the area around the Antonius Deusinglaan on the Healthy Ageing Campus, which is part of Campus Groningen, on 26 June 2018. The agreement sets out the development plans, the future underground infrastructure and the exchange of land to which the parties have agreed. Campus Groningen is very pleased about these plans, that will enhance the development of Campus Groningen and emphasize her role as fastest growing Campus in the Netherlands.
Dynamic city square
The area will be built around (0) a dynamic city square and will include several buildings: a (1) large teaching facility, primarily for Pharmacy and the Medical Science Faculty, (2) a location to accommodate the University College Groningen and (3) student culture centre Usva. There will also be room for (4 & 5) future UMCG development plans.
Vibrant public space
Alongside the new buildings, the public space will feature an attractive design with an open connection to the city centre. A dynamic, car-free city square will be the focal point of the area which as a whole measures some 27,000 m 2 . The ground floors of the buildings surrounding the square will house restaurants, cafés and shops. This has all been set out in a Spatial Masterplan. A sophisticated public transportation hub will be constructed between now and 2020 to improve accessibility. In addition, underground and indoor bicycle parking has been incorporated in the plans.
The new, modern teaching facility will primarily be used by students of Pharmacy and the Medical Sciences Faculty. The 9,000 m 2 structure will be erected adjacent to the ERIBA building, near the new UMCG Proton Therapy Centre.
University College Groningen
University College Groningen (UCG), temporarily located on the Hoendiepskade, will move to Bloemsingel 1 on the Healthy Ageing Campus. The façade of the building is a protected townscape and will of course be retained. The building itself will be renovated and an extension will be added at the back. Alternative accommodation for the current occupants of Bloemsingel 1 (the UMCG IT department and LifeLines) is being sought.
The student housing agency SSH will build student housing near the end of the Vrydemalaan. The UCG students will be accommodated here, meaning that they will learn, relax and also live on campus.
The current ADL2 building will be stripped and adapted to suit businesses with a connection to the UMCG (Health Data Center) and the student culture centre Usva. Adjacent will be a new student theatre. For years, the Usva has been longing for more adaptable accommodation with better sound-proofing and a larger auditorium, for 200 visitors. At the new campus location, students and visitors will have access to a number of auditoriums, studios and classrooms. Combined with attractive eateries and an outdoor terrace, this will enliven the campus both during the day and in the evenings, and there will be plenty of opportunities for collaboration and exchange with other cultural organizations in the vicinity.
Room for future UMCG development
The agreement reserves some locations for the UMCG for future development. Meanwhile, block 4 will be used for construction logistics and block 5 is available to be used temporarily in connection with a particular theme.
Now that the General Agreement has been signed, the plans can be further elaborated. The entire area – that belongs to Campus Groningen - will be developed in phases. Architects will be tackling the various design trajectories in 2018 and 2019, and in the meantime the preparatory infrastructure work and demolition will take place. In addition, the construction of the public transport hub will commence. With the infrastructure prepared and demolition completed, the first components of the development plan are expected to be realized in 2020-2022.