The TU/e has decided to house hundreds of students in the former Philips headquarters on the Boschdijk in Eindhoven after the summer vacations. There will be 456 rooms, with bathrooms, kitchens, and communal areas. The intention is for the students to live there for the next three to five years.
The temporary project in the so-called VB building is a collaboration of the university, Eindhoven municipality, construction company Ten Brinke, and developer Bekke & Partners. “We are facing a huge housing shortage, also for students. However, this group is so important for economic growth in the region,” said Alderman Mieke Verhees. “Because the redevelopment of the former Philips headquarters will take several years, I have taken the initiative to enter into talks with the owners and TU/e to explore the possibilities.”
The developer and construction company were immediately enthusiastic. Johan Hofmans, director at Ten Brinke: “The office floors will be converted into student rooms. We’re setting up a student house, with eight to ten students living in groups, sharing sanitary facilities and the kitchen. On the lower floors, we are looking at general facilities, such as bicycle rental. And in the basement, there will be facilities for waste collection and extensive bicycle storage.”
What do the neighbors think of the plans? Over 450 students may create commotion and possibly disturbance. “It is our job to make sure that the students feel at home here, but also that they become good neighbors to those living in the neighborhood,” Hofmans acknowledges. The neighborhood has been invited to a walk-in meeting on March 23, where they can share concerns and tips and where the parties involved and students can answer their questions. Topics of discussion include, for example, limiting noise and preventing litter.”
The TU/e will remain involved in the complex even after completion, said Jan-Willem Schellekens, responsible for real estate at the university. “Old students will act as contact points for each floor and be the short lines of contact with the building manager. This will ensure housekeeping regulations and also help form a close-knit student community. This way of working has proven successful at other locations for all parties and is also applied here.”
The now vacant building of more than 33,000 square meters of floor space was the headquarters of Philips Netherlands until 2001. In 2021, Ten Brinke and Bekke became the new owners after Philips moved to Amsterdam.
Hofmans says: “The intention is to give the building a central and social function in the area. This will make the neighborhood more attractive to residents. The renovation and new construction will take place respecting the monument status of the building. Virtually nothing will change on the outside.” The old Philips complex received national monument status just last year.
Earlier, political parties in the Eindhoven City Council called on the city’s educational institutions to also take more responsibility for housing students.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.