As of yesterday, the residents of the Bornsesteeg block of flats once again have a room where they can meet up and escape from the anonymity of the international sections. After months of bickering between Idealis and the block of flats’ pub committee about noise disturbance and licences, the ‘Number 3’ meeting area really is reopening.
Derek, a resident from Indonesia, looks around with satisfaction. 'My birthday is soon and I want to invite a lot of people. My room is far too small but this is an ideal space.' An Idealis spokesperson explains why it has taken so long before the vacant space could be put to a new use. 'A plan was drawn up in consultation with residents and an architect, and that took a lot of time. Number 3 was developed with the building's international character in mind; it is a kind of hotel. There is a TV and lockers, and the revolving door to enter the block of flats has been replaced by outward swinging doors, making it easy to carry through large suitcases.'
Fresh and modern
The new meeting area is fresh and modern, with no trace of its former life as a bar. It has become a meeting area residents can use all day round. The room can be reserved for parties and birthday celebrations.
There is no licence to tap beer and the person organizing the party is responsible for providing the drink. So that will mean lugging crates of beer! Residents' representative Yiyun Chen has no doubt it will be a huge success. 'I have clearly felt the need among residents. People may not know each other so well here, but at least this is a good start.'