Ghent University renovates and expands in the Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat

( 21-10-2018 ) This summer Ghent University started the activities around the square between Ufo, Technicum and De Brug. The Faculty of Political and Social Sciences will be part of the Technicum, while student restaurant De Brug will be renewed and expanded.

For several years Ghent University has been working on a real renewal movement in its buildings on the Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat site and adjacent streets. The unified library of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy in the Rozier, the Architecture Library in the Plateau building and the Vandenhove pavilion are some examples of finished elements. The renovation of the Book Tower and renewal of the entrance hall of the Rectorate are ongoing projects. And since this summer the yards for the Technicum and student restaurant De Brug have also been added.

The Technicum - from technical laboratories to the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences

The Technicum was established in the 1930s and provided shelter for decades for the technical laboratories of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. The design is by Jean-Norbert Cloquet, in collaboration with Gustaaf Magnel, who would also house his research lab for reinforced concrete in the Technicum.

With the far-reaching technological modernisation and systematic relocation of various departments from the Technicum buildings to the outskirts of the town, a different interpretation of the Technicum was possible and necessary. After the renovations, the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences will move into the Technicum.

With the reconversion of the Technicum, we will revitalise a fine example of architectural heritage. Block 1 and 2 are being renovated with a great focus on sustainability and flexibility. The office environment has been elaborated according to the concept of Different Working, with activity-related workplaces and space for meeting. The faculty library and classrooms focus on collaboration and new activating forms. (Els Van Damme, Director of the Department of Infrastructure and Facility Management)

The move of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences will provide more space for the faculty itself, and at the same time for the Faculty of Law and Criminology which will be the only faculty in the Universiteitstraat.

The move of the faculty has as a major advantage that our strongly grown faculty ends up in one and the same location. Now we are scattered over various locations. Hopefully, the Technicum offers such an opportunity to solve the current lack of space. (Herwig Reynaert, Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences)

In the first phase, the Technicum is broken down and stripped down to the basic structure. To limit the nuisance on the public domain, push barges that are removed by ship are used.

For these works, the Scheldekaai is closed until mid December between 9:00 and 15:30 for all passage at Technicum level. Before 9:00 and after 15:30 passage is possible.

The Vooruit - Rectorate side is accessible via their respective access points, and the Therminal - Faculty of Economics and Business is available via the Hoveniersberg and Voetweg.

Student restaurant De Brug: more capacity in a modernised restaurant

The student restaurant, which was once housed in the Technicum, before moving to its current setting in 1960, is thoroughly modernised and expanded. The expansion of De Brug meets the great need for extra capacity in the most popular student restaurant.

The main entrance of the building will be located at the student square. The current phase of the work focuses on the construction of the new building, and the whole will include a cafeteria, a new entrance to the restaurant on the square and an expansion of De Brug’s consumption hall. During 2019, the mansion Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 45 will also be renovated. Only offices will be accommodated here.

A growing university also needs growing facilities for students. That is why the extension of the student restaurant De Brug was and is necessary. De Brug will respond to tasty, healthy and sustainable food not only in quantitative terms but also in terms of quality. An increase in the number of seats will ensure more eating comfort. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy the sun on a new green outdoor terrace and enjoy something tasty. The quiet terrace user will find an extensive inner terrace to relax and the more sophisticated student will enjoy the bustle of the Ufo on the new terrace at the student square: our Ghent ’Place m’as-tu vu’. (Marc Bracke, Director of the Department of Student Facilities)

A thriving square in the heart of Ghent University

Once the yards of the Technicum and De Brug have been completed, within a few years, the student square between the Ufo, the Technicum and De Brug will be redesigned. It will be destined as a thriving, pleasant square in the heart of Ghent University, amidst the Ghent University buildings and the important axis that Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat is already at present for students and staff. Also add that the Book Tower will be completely renovated at that time, and the renewed entrance hall of the rectorate will be realized in 2019, and then there can be no doubt that Ghent University will have achieved a huge embellishment and upgrading of its infrastructure on this central axis.

The layout of the student square in the heart of this Campus is the final piece of the works. The whole fits in so fully with the real estate strategy that applies to a performing, compact, inspiring university. (Els Van Damme, Director of the Department of Infrastructure and Facility Management)