The Van Unnik building comes back to life
The lights are coming back on, in and on the Van Unnik Building. On 11 January 2023, work will start on the Van Unnik Building. The logo and iconic letters on the tower, which together spell out the words 'Universiteit Utrecht', will be back on. The lighting in the letters has been made sustainable. This is in line with UU's ambition to make the Van Unnik building a visibly sustainable redevelopment. Over the next two years, the asbestos will be removed and the inside will be completely and circularly demolished as much as possible, except for the facade panels. In parallel, work is underway on the design after which builders will set to work to transform this building into a modern research, education and office building for UU.
We're turning on the lights again
Illuminated letters turned off at night
The 38 letters on the roof were recently fitted with LED lights and given a maintenance service. The letters and the 'Sol' logo will automatically turn on and off with sunset and sunrise. To save extra energy, the letters are switched off during the night between 11pm and 5am. In this way, they consume a total of less than 10% of the old situation. This energy-saving measure is part of the Turn the Switch Taskforce.
Donation of emergency power generator to Ukraine
There is a large emergency power generator in the Van Unnik building that is still in good condition. Together, UU and contractor Bnext.nl have decided to donate this generator to Ukraine. There, the need is very high and generators are very welcome to provide power to hospitals and other essential social institutions. The donation came about through The Lion Kyiv Foundation. All parties involved are cooperating selflessly. In January, the generator will be removed from the Van Unnik building and put on transport. A final destination is not known at present.
With 22 floors, the Van Unnik Building is Utrecht University's tallest building and therefore a recognisable landmark. After fifty years of loyal service, however, a thorough intervention is needed. The façade, interior and installations no longer meet today's requirements. The shell is still perfectly usable, as is the low-rise building. By redeveloping the building instead of demolishing it, we use fewer raw materials and reuse the solid skeleton.
Preserving the concrete skeleton
The ambition is to make the redevelopment an example of sustainable reuse of an existing building. When completed, the Van Unnik building will be energy-neutral. It will be developed with the latest knowledge and techniques in the field of circular and healthy buildings. Inside and outside, we will create an inviting place that encourages meeting, connecting and cooperation. The ground floor, for example, will house public functions. Thus, together with the Kruyt Building, the Van Unnik Building will soon strengthen the liveliness of the central area and become part of the heart of the campus. We expect the building to be ready for use in 2028 with (parts of) the Faculty of Social Sciences and (parts of) the University Administration Department as intended first users.