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Campus LiU 2015 firms up

Corson på Campus Valla

Plans for Campus LiU 2015 are moving to the next stage. In the outline that will be presented today to the faculty and departmental heads there is a new plan that will create the meeting place for students, visitors and staff that Linköping University does not have.

Previous plans for Campus LiU 2015 included a new building with combined meeting places and work spaces for the administration and the university library in a renovated Origo. These have been changed. The new plans are the result of a fundamental analysis and needs inventory. From a purely technical/construction perspective it proved difficult to extend and renovate Origo in the way that was previously planned.

Instead thinking has turned to a new building where Origo currently stands. A building that can provide the communal areas with all the services that our students, visitors and staff currently lack. A new building at the centre of Campus Valla will be the clear profile building, the university entrance that is needed. The proposal is for the same building, implicitly intended to breathe “future”, “transparency” and “openness”, to be the new home of the university library. It will be a library that better meets current and future needs for communal work space, meeting places, and study areas that the students are asking for.

This is what other universities around Europe are putting their efforts into. When the university leadership visited a number of universities in the Netherlands and Great Britain recently, they saw a number of examples of this.

“There is a clear trend among the British and Dutch universities we visited on our reconnaissance trip to bring together activities in what is known as an ‘information commons’, with library, quiet individual study spaces, group rooms and computers that can be reserved. These places were swarming with students,” says Vice-chancellor Helen Dannetun. “When we saw this a lot of us almost felt tempted to start studying again.”

This solution coincides well with the discussions being held at LiU about creating an amalgamated library in a more central location.

“Libraries have a very central function,” says Deputy Vice-chancellor Karin Fälth-Magnusson. “Not just as libraries, but as general information centres. With their long opening times they get loads of questions, which are not just about library matters, but also about service functions which are currently spread all around the campus areas.”

Modern students no longer learn simply by sitting in a lecture theatre. They learn in groups, by interacting with teachers and other students. And most important, they learn around the clock. The students spend more and more time on campus. They see it as a kind of living room where they spend a large part of the day. In the Satisfied Student Surveys they always ask for more study places, electrical outlets for computers and telephones, and more student kitchen areas.

“We should be very pleased that our students feel this way,” says Fälth-Magnusson. “Now we want to try to create even better environments, which support their needs.”

A completely new building plus some areas in D-building, which will be freed up when the library moves out, will provide more space to allow a more efficient way of bringing together the university administration.

“This gives us good conditions to create modern working environments that will support the university administration’s new structure and that will promote collaboration and communication,” says University Director Kent Waltersson.

Akademiska Hus has engaged Malmö architects Fojab Arkitekter for ongoing analysis. The proposal will be presented to the University Board on 12 April. If the outcome is positive they can move on to more detailed discussions, planning and financial calculations. A decision on the direction the project will take is expected to be made at the June meeting of the board.

Elisabet Wahrby 2013-03-22

Page manager: elisabet.wahrby@liu.se
Last updated: 2013-04-04