Organisation - September 12, 2013

Lonely stragglers left behind in the Biotechnion

Roelof Kleis

Education building on the Dreijen is slowly emptying.
Concentration on lower floors combats ‘Biotechnion Blues’.

The relocation of Food Technology to the campus marks another step in the dismantling of the Dreijen. That premises are vacant is most noticeable in the Biotechnion, once one of Wageningen’s prominent science locations. Only three of the building’s eight floors are still in full use. Human Nutrition will remain here until the completion of the new Helix building on the Born (summer 2015). In addition, Bioprocess Engineering (Professor Rene Wijffels’ group) will continue to use part of the sixth floor until the end of the year.

Long, empty corridors, stripped lab rooms and worn-out offices set the tone on the Biotechnion’s other floors. A bleak sight. At the far end of the fourth floor, by contrast, there is life. Programme director of food technology Ralf Hartemink and his team are staying put for another couple of months. In November he is moving to Radix. And he can manage the short intervening period.

Don’t forget the upsides: I’ve got my own private toilet
Ralf Hartemink

‘It’s a whole lot quieter in the hallway, though, says Hartemink. ‘Empty, stripped and boring. Now you can hear everything. The coffee vending machines have gone and the photocopiers too. We have to go downstairs for these services. Things like this are a problem, especially when you have visitors. But they are minor inconveniences; we manage. And don’t forget there are upsides: I’ve got my own private toilet. Because I’m the only man on this floor.’
On the ground floor, there is still a reception desk. Until the end of the year, says Gerritsen, then that facility is going too. Nonetheless, he doesn’t think there’s any question of the Biotechnion Blues. ‘We are trying to prevent that by concentrating everything on the first three floors. In consultation with Facilities & Services the rest of the building will be closed.’