The smoking spot next to Atlas has lost its bright colours. The colourful strips of the parasol have been repainted grey. Experts claim this better fits the campus.
© Roelof Kleis
The smoking spot next to Atlas is part of the natural wetland garden. Smokers can vent their addiction beneath a large plastic parasol with a view on the garden. The parasol was placed in 2013 and is regularly used – especially during sunny weather. It adds a cheerful touch to the garden’s landscape, which is still a bit plain. But apparently a bit too cheerful, it seems.
‘Every landscape architect I’ve welcomed on campus over the years loathed the parasol’, says park manager Elike Wijnheijmer of Facilities and Services. ‘The multicoloured parasol did not fit in. We therefore had it repainted in the same colours as the smoking parasols next to Forum and Orion.’ According to Wijnheijmer, the colour had to make place for the ambition of ‘unity in all functional furnishing elements’ on campus.
‘We have been consequent in the use of concrete, (raw) wood, metal and calm greys’, Wijnheijmer elaborates. ‘In that same line, all electrical boxes have recently been painted dark grey, to make them less conspicuous.’ However, corporate director communications & marketing Marc Lamers emphasises that this does not mean WUR is aiming to achieve a grey image.
‘This is about a combination of calm colour schemes and a consistent use of natural materials. That is the image we strive for’, he adds. ‘This also manifests the municipality’s wish regarding the visual quality of the functional elements. This consideration was not yet present in 2013, at the time the parasol was built.’ Besides, only the top side of the parasol was affected. The bottom is still as colourful as ever.
The municipality recently criticised the campus design. According to the municipality, some areas are a mess. This was especially the case for the spot where the new carillon will be placed. Its concrete pedestal has already been placed. The carillon will be unveiled on 9 November, during the closing of the anniversary celebration.