The space in Forum where Van Hall Larenstein was housed until last academic year, was given a makeover. A big, open studio was created on the fifth floor. This studio will be used by the Landscape architecture students.
The bridge in Forum - which still has the letters ‘Van Hall Larenstein’ on it - will be turned into an exposition place for Landscape architecture. And this course also gets its own unique space inside the former VHL area. Visitors entering this part of the building from the bridge will see a big open studio that is full of drawing tables and poster boards. All the small rooms are gone. ‘Landscape architecture has different needs than other courses’, says Ludy Zeeuwen, manager of the Forum building. The students have to make designs.
‘This space is not suitable for lecture rooms’, says Zeeuwen, while she points at the glass bowl in the middel of the room. Around that bowl, through whcih the library can be seen, PCs will be installed. The rest of the room will be one big open space. ‘Students can rearrange this area as much as they like’, says Zeeuwen, who made the changes in the former VHL area in close collaboration with Landscape Architecture Professor Adriaan Geuze and with the architect of Forum. Students of various years will be working in that same studio, so that they can learn from each other. Depending on the projects they work on, the students can move there drawing tables and poster boards around the room.
Next to the big studio, a presentation room has been built. This room also has a balcony that can be entered from the sixth floor. ‘Adriaan Geuze really wanted a place where students can present there work’, Zeeuwen explains. ‘But the room can also be used for other purposes.’
The former lunchroom of VHL – a light, open space above the entrance on the fifth floor - will also be prepared for Landschape architecture. On this sixth floor, Landscape planning will also be housed. The seventh and eight floor of the former VHL part get regular lecture rooms, PC rooms and group work areas, which can be used by all courses. ‘All the education that was taking place on De Dreijen can now be moved to Forum’, says Zeeuwen.
Because so much construction work was going on in Forum already, it was decided to also do some work in other parts of the building. The air supply in the building was improved by installing four big ventilation pipes. Zeeuwen: ‘There are a lot more people in Forum than when it was first used, in 2007. That means more ventilation is needed. Especially on the second and third floor we have measured pretty high CO2 levels. That is not conducive for studying.’
Drilling holes for the ventilation shafts was a big job. Twenty-two holes had to be drilled through 40 to 50 centimeter thick, concrete floors. Two shafts had to go from the the roof to ythe second floor and twoo shafts were created in the former VHL part, from the roof to the fifth floor. ‘Each hole took eight to ten hours of drilling’, says Zeeuwen.
She doesn't want to disclose the costs of the operation. ‘It was alot of money, but the Executive Board had approved it and we stayed within budget.’ As a result of this investment in the buidling, the rent - which is already quite high - will go up next year. ‘But on the other hand, the university will not have to pay rent at De Dreijen anymore, because this renovation makes it possible to move all lectures from De Dreijen to Forum.’