Time capsule burial marks start of SSC expansion

By mid-2024 the Student Sports Centre (SSC) will have gained significantly more capacity. Yesterday, a time capsule was buried behind the SSC. Here, over the coming months, the extension will be built, creating plenty of additional space, some of which will be used for gym facilities. The canteen, too, will be remodeled from scratch. “It will be an expansion in the spirit of Gerrit Rietveld, the original architect,” says SSC director Wim Koch.

Speaking before the time capsule was filled and buried, director Wim Koch recalled that the plans for the expansion of the SSC date back to 2012. “Yes, it's been a lengthy project alright,” he said, with a broad smile. Once the intake of students to TU/e began to rise sharply ten years ago, this expansion to his sports center became increasingly necessary. And while the intervening years were used to make some changes to the plans, said Koch, “eventually we were simply bursting at the seams.”

Heated discussion

Koch told his audience, which included the architects, building contractors, a couple of people from Real Estate and SSC's own staff, that heated discussions had been held in recent years as the process by which the plans would be created and their substance were agreed. “On occasion, these meetings were a bit like a boxing match (something the representatives of the various parties have, in fact, experienced in a training session, ed.). Lively debate was triggered at all kinds of levels, but we always reached a resolution. At the end of the day, this process has only improved the plan.”

Soon the site between the Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat and the present building will accommodate a new dojo, a body & mind room, four large changing rooms, a first aid room and a new gym. The rooms this will free up in the old building will become available for other sports, says Ilse Chatrou of Real Estate. She went on to say that the lobby and the canteen will also be completely remodeled, and that the old canteen will be replaced with a larger and more modern facility.

Koch says that the renovation will echo “the spirit of Gerrit Rietveld”. The sports center in Eindhoven was the last project that this famous Dutch architect and designer completed in the early 1960s in collaboration with project architect Joan van Dillen. The current project costs were budgeted only last year at eleven million euros and, says Koch, will enable an extension of up to 2,440 square meters. 

In concluding, the SSC director thanked his own staff for sharing their ideas about the plans and providing input based on their own experience. "This group, too, has given a great deal of their time and been actively involved in shaping the plans in recent years." Into the time capsule Koch put photos showing what the sports center used to look like and its new appearance in 2024. A photo of the boxing workshop was added by one of the building contractors. 

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