Universiteit Leiden

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Student tower opened with café, common room and spectacular views

The 289 students who recently moved into the tower on Kolffpad at the Leiden Bio Science Park are sitting pretty. They have the keys to a self-contained unit in the middle of the campus yet surrounded by green, with a launderette, games room and study area on the ground floor, and, coming soon, a branch of Coffee Star.

The new student tower on Kolffpad

Exit Leiden Central Station on the LUMC side and you won’t fail to see the student tower that has graced the skyline nearby since last summer. The tower was officially opened on Thursday 25 April. ‘I’m incredibly proud that we have once again managed to realise a serious amount of student housing catering to all students in Leiden’, said Executive Board member Martijn Ridderbos at the opening. ‘This building is a landmark for the whole residential area around Schilperoort Park, an area where many students and other residents live and meet.’

Café with outdoor seating

Being able to meet others has been an important aspect in the realisation of the entire LBS and this was no different with the new tower, which Leiden University contracted out to DUWO student housing provider. Students had the chance to express their wishes before work started on the building and the communal areas, or common rooms as they are known, are in the layout suggested by the students but can also be used by non-residents. Coffee Star will start work on the café with outdoor seating once the outdoor areas have been completed this summer.

Student Justin thinks he has hit the jackpot with his top-floor flat in the 21-storey tower. This commercial economics student at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden previously lived in a building where 19 students shared two bathrooms and three toilets. ‘Having all of this to myself is a real luxury’, he smiles from his spot at the window where he enjoys the view for a moment before rejoining his friends in the common room downstairs. ‘But the view is amazing. Look, there’s Rotterdam. I can’t keep away from the window and have already taken zillions of photos of the sunset.’

Justin in his new flat

Even more student housing

This new complex is one in a series of university construction projects especially for students. Last year, 700 student housing units were completed in the new Park More housing development, also on the LBSP. And the design for a new student tower in Nieuw-Rhijngeest Zuid, the Oegstgeest section of the park, is now complete. Once this tower has been built, the university will have realised just under 1,300 student housing units in a few years.

‘It is imperative that we as a university commit to providing student housing’, says Ferdy Poppelier, Director of Leiden University’s Real Estate Directorate, which commissioned the housing at the LBSP. ‘After all, students are the linchpin of our university and it is our social responsibility to provide not only them but also students from other institutions with suitable housing.’

Bat shelter too

This latest addition doesn’t just provide a home to students. The building is nature inclusive, so bats, sparrows and swifts can find shelter in the nest boxes on its facades. And insects can take advantage of the insect hotels on the low roof.

The building is connected to district heating and is therefore gas free. To cook, the residents will use electricity generated by solar panels on the roofs.

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