Although the architecture of the Polak building has generally been praised, there are quite a few complaints about this new education building from more practically-minded individuals. The university is now considering minor adaptations.

The University Advisory Board has discussed a number of the Polak building problems: it is very busy, there are insufficient waste bins, there is uncomfortable seating in the lecture hall on the ground floor and it is not clear where you can and cannot make a noise.

Geert Gerritse, Director of Real Estate Services announced by email that the Polak building is ‘very popular’ among students, which sometimes makes it difficult to find a place to study. He is attempting to find ways to free up more study areas. “For example, we will be making clear for students when teaching rooms are being used for teaching so that – if that is not the case – these can be used as a place to study.” He also advises that students use other areas on the campus, such as the Tinbergen building. And once the Sanders building and the University Library reopen, the number of places to study will increase dramatically, but students will need to wait another year-and-a-half for this.

Old seating for cost-savings

The poor seating in the lecture hall is temporary: the large lecture hall in the Polak building is being used until the Sanders building opens, explained Gerritse. That is why, for reasons of cost-savings, the old seating from that building is temporarily being reused. To reduce pressure in the Polak building, attempts will be made to schedule as many lectures as possible in other buildings. Quiet study areas will also be marked more clearly, for example using ‘intercity-style’ stickers.

The EM column, Campus Talk, already referred to the Polak building as being ‘not very practical’. “The study areas look very spacious, but there is less room than there seems”, said Culture Studies student Marvin van der Heijde in the column. Ouassim Nnafie, a Business Administration student, called the building ‘stylish and modern’, but also always very busy. For some students it was also unclear whether you could or could not make a noise.