Science - June 17, 2004

New buildings will transform De Born into a ‘campus’ area

Wageningen UR is busy with long-term plans to complex a campus of university and research buildings at the entrance to Wageningen from the A12 motorway. In the coming two years the area around De Born will undergo an ‘extreme makeover’, and by 2007 nearly all university staff will be housed there together most of the education facilities. On pages 10 and 11 of this Wb there is an overview of the plans, that are budgeted at a total of 180 million euros.

At present it is still a barren piece of land, but by 2007 the area between the Mansholtlaan, Droevendaalsesteeg, De Bornsesteeg and the university sports centre De Bongerd will have undergone a complete transformation. Two buildings will dominate the complex, the Forum- and the Atlas buildings. Plans for a new building for the plant scientists are still awaiting the go-ahead from the Executive Board, which is dependent on a clear plan to get DLO out of the red with its budget deficit. The animal scientists will probably get accommodation somewhere at the back of the De Born area, but plans are still in a preliminary phase.

The Forum Building will become the central meeting place in the new complex, and will house three-quarters of the education facilities of the university, and the six degree courses from Larenstein that will come to Wageningen. The main library accommodation will be housed in a kind of suspended sphere within the building. There will be about one hundred lecture theatres, classrooms, as well as computer and practical rooms. The ‘Agora’ will house a restaurant, café and shops.

The the new complex will cover an area of about sixty hectares. What is at present a construction site will be turned into a park landscape with gentle hills, two large ponds, varied plants and trees and a choice of footpaths. There are plans for a ‘scent route’ which will lead walkers around scented trees and bushes, a ‘weeping route’ along weeping willows and other similar trees, a ‘fruit triangle’ and a ‘strolling circuit’. There will also be a grass area and events terrain with relaxation opportunities for the future inhabitants.

There will be a special dedicated bus route laid out through the complex, which will join De Born with both Ede-Wageningen station and the centre of Wageningen. There are plans to replace the bus connections with a ‘light rail’ connection in the distant future.

For more information see the website (in Dutch): www.nieuwbouw.wur.nl

Gert van Maanen

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