V-building: ‘light – lots of light!’
On Thursday 26 May, the latest addition to Woudestein campus, designed by architect Gerard Frishert, was officially opened. With its warm red walls and asymmetrical roof, the V-building is an absolute asset to Woudestein – even though it is temporary. The different faculty colours have been used for the side walls. Its tenants (EFR, Erasmus Shop, Hairdesign by Lydia, Service Point and Studystore) feel happy in their new quarters.
Because of the start on the C-building’s restoration in June, all shops are relocated from the ‘winkelstraat’ in C to the V-building between March and May. In June, the C-building’s lecture rooms will be moved there too. During the opening on 26 May, Bart Straatman (EUR Executive Board) and building contractor Harry van Zandwijk revealed a plaque by the Netherlands Architecture Institute.
The biggest advantage of the move for Woudestein’s retail? ‘Light – lots of light. I’ll never feel like a mole again!’ Lydia van Santen-Blom enthuses. After 11 years of C, the owner of ‘Hairdesign by Lydia’ did experience a brief spell of homesickness, but that did not last: ‘We get more people just dropping by, the shop is light and trendy - and so holds a greater appeal to young people – and there’s just more of a connection between inside and outside.’
Berend Sangers (Studystore) agrees. ‘We’ve also got a nice, spacious shop area here, and it’s a better point of sale. An added bonus are the improved heating and airco systems.’ Berend and his colleagues were the first to move to the V-building, which did mean they were in the middle of building works for longer. ‘You can’t believe the amount of sand … it’s like Operation Desert Storm! We do a daily round of cleaning, but there’s even sand INSIDE the books.’
Myrthe van Dieijen, EFR, remarks that their new office space is smaller. ‘Still, we’re happy to be in the V-building – the exposure’s good.’ Fortunately, EFR were given additional space in the H-building, for use as backoffice.
Both Aimé Klinge (Service Point) and Sam van Rooij (Erasmus Shop) sing the praises of the design. Aimé: ‘The shape of the roof is especially striking, as is the big hall with its wooden beams.’ There are some minor technical imperfections, but these are being seen to.
The shops with stockrooms are less happy regarding the number of square meters of storage space. Studystore is able to compensate with a larger shop floor and by having the students find their own books more often. EFR’s shop is smaller than before, so can't do the same. ‘We are thinking of applying for extra storage space.’ Service Point is the only one with a separate stockroom entrance. The remaining shops have their stock delivered via the shop entrance.
Nevertheless, enthusiasm is the predominant emotion – especially where it concerns daylight, creature comforts and improved point of sale. Hairdesign by Lydia, Erasmus Shop, EFR, Service Point and Studystore are confident about the future in their new location.