When you enter the Langeveld Building, it looks green and natural. The staircase meanders through the middle of the room, next to metres-high tree trunks that serve as pillars. Seating and tables surround a square ‘garden’ with a tree on the ground floor. Rows of lush dragon ivy adorn the walls like a green waterfall.
The building has everything students need: plenty of sunlight, desks and chairs for hours of studying, a snack wall, a drinking water fountain, a coffee machine on every floor, and screens displaying public transport departure times.
A student takes a selfie on the first-floor staircase. Next to her, another student takes photos of the ground floor. They’re not the only ones who are impressed: Miguel Pinto, a first-year student in the International Business Administration programme, admires the building’s interior. “It’s brilliantly designed”, he says enthusiastically. “The combination of functionality and beauty is astounding. The wooden look, the trees and the plants make you feel like you’re in an amazing tree house.”
He likes the staircase the most. “It’s the centrepiece of the building; all the spaces are built around it. From the staircase you have a view of the different floors and all the greenery. It makes it fun to take the stairs instead of the lift.”
On the second floor, students Yasmina Wacher and Nefeli Poulipoulou concentrate as they work on their laptops. The sun shines through the window next to them, which overlooks the Plaza and the pond. Both have been looking forward to studying in this building for weeks. “When the university announced the opening of the building on social media, I tagged Yasmina with a message: ‘We have to check this out!’” Nefeli says.
Nefeli set her alarm extra early Tuesday morning and has been in the building since half past eight. “I didn’t know how many people would come. I wanted to be sure that I could get a good spot”, she laughs. Is it an ideal place to study? “Well, since the building is so open, it’s a little noisy”, Yasmina admits. “You can hear people talking and walking on other floors, so if you really need to focus, maybe you should choose somewhere else.” Still, the two students think the building is fantastic. Nefeli: “It’s such a beautiful environment, it motivates me to study.”
The technology works
In Room 1.12, second-year Business Administration students attend a lecture on Professional Development. Lecturer Floris de Lange thinks it’s a lovely building with lots of light. “And the most important part: everything works! The audio is good in the room, and it doesn’t echo. I haven’t had any problems with the technology either”, he says. “During the lecture, construction workers outside walked past the window from time to time. That was also fun to see.”