Niks meer missen?
Schrijf je in voor onze nieuwsbrief!
Foto: Barry Smits

Lab42: “At eleven o'clock there is a traffic jam at the revolving door”

Sija van den Beukel,
14 september 2022 - 13:53

Lab42 has been in use by students and staff since the beginning of this academic year. For Arnold Veen, responsible for the handover and maintenance of the building, the work is almost done. What questions did he receive and what do users encounter? "You bump your head against the revolving door because it suddenly sticks."

For Arnold Veen, housing project manager, it is always an exciting moment when the doors of a new building open. He worked on the construction and move into Lab42 for two years. "The first day is always a time to get used to the new building. Can everyone find their way, have you taken everything into account? That went surprisingly smoothly."


The new building gives Veen a peaceful feeling. "That surprised me. Usually, modern buildings are white with lots of steel: cool and chilly. This building is green, light and spacious. I think people are very happy with the building. It also has all kinds of amenities such as a store that has already opened and a café. A terrace will possibly be added later."

Arnold Veen

Age: 58 years

Position: Project Manager Facility Services Housing

Worked for two years on Lab42

Borrowed furniture

As the person responsible for Lab42's maintenance, Veen is the man to call when something goes wrong. "We got few questions, apart from access to rooms, closing doors and computer connections. Those were most of the time resolved within a day."


But Veen also had to take into account longer delivery time of materials. By consulting with suppliers at an early stage, almost all the furniture was delivered on time except for the study areas, where they are using borrowed furniture. Sometime in October this will be replaced by the furniture ordered.


The contractor was busy in the building a bit longer with activities like making the building livable with things like furniture, coffee machines and plants. Veen: "You quickly get in each other's way. But everyone put their best foot forward.”


Revolving doors

Physically entering the building is still a little tricky due to the congestion caused by the revolving door at the main entrance. Master's student in neurobiology Iris Berden says: "At nine in the morning it turns quickly. But at eleven o'clock, when many students want to enter at the same time, there is a traffic jam at the revolving door. It turns slowly so you can't enter quickly. Or you bump your head against the revolving door because it suddenly sticks."


It's part of matching the revolving doors to the users, according to moving coordinator Jikke Heemstra. "The problem now is that students do not walk straight to the revolving door but make a turn at the entrance. This means that they end up exactly under the safety sensor and the revolving door stalls. Now we have put two bollards next to the revolving door to try to make sure people walk straight towards it. We'll see if this works.

The café is still closed because the permit from the municipality is not yet in place.
Foto: Jannes Linders
Main entrance Lab42

No permit

The café is still closed because the permit from the municipality is not yet in place. "We are having some start-up problems," says Liesbeth Nijhuis, manager at Cirfood for the UvA and HvA. "Together with Facility Services, we decided late in the process that we would operate the café ourselves." 


It wasn't until late July that Nijhuis was able to initiate the permit application. Then she knew that Cirfood would be serving coffee in Lab42. Before that, the location had been intended for several local entrepreneurs. One by one, these dropped out due to a shortage of catering staff.


Nijhuis is quietly hoping that the permit will be finalized by October 1 and the café can officially open. If that doesn’t work out, she will consult with the municipality and the neighborhood police to see what is possible.


In three weeks, the work for Veen will be over. On to the next project: the new UB, which is expected to be completed in early 2024.