Exhibition illustrates Gemini renovation

The exhibition about the Gemini renovation was officially opened in Gemini last Tuesday. Renovation of the colossal building, where the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering are housed, started in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in 2027. The exhibition, which aims primarily to inform TU/e staff members and students about the renovation progress, illustrates the building’s past, present and future.

photo Levi Baruch

“The Gemini renovation, which includes Gemini North and Gemini South, is one of the largest and most ambitious renovation projects Real Estate ever embarked on,” Roderik van Doorn, Senior Project manager at Real Estate, says during his opening speech. “However, we failed to provide sufficient information,” he adds. With this exhibition, which was officially opened last Tuesday, as well as with communication via newsletters and the university’s intranet, Real Estate hopes to rectify this mistake. “With these initiatives we want to answer the following question: where are we now and where are we headed?”, Van Doorn says. The exhibition illustrates the building’s history, the different renovation phases, and the phases that are still to come. This way, the exhibition connects the building’s past, present and future.

Up-to-date information provision

The exhibition space, located near the reception desk in Gemini South, will soon feature a narrowcasting screen in order to support information provision. “The information on the screen will keep the users of the building informed of the progress, but also of the scheduled renovation activities, so that, for example, they can take into account potential inconveniences,” says Vione van Leeuwen, one of the project leaders working at Real Estate.

“People have many questions. They want to know exactly what we are doing, what the building will look like once the renovation is completed, and what the plans for the future are,” she continues. “We believe that it’s important that users of the building know where to find this information.” The exhibition starts in Gemini South but will move to the other part of the building after the renovation of Gemini North is completed. The exhibition will be kept up-to-date by removing and adding exhibition panels, in combination with narrowcasting.

The exhibition uses images, informative texts and infographics to provide visitors with an overview of the building’s various renovation phases. “The exhibition uses the building’s history as a point of departure and moves all the way towards the future via timelines. We don’t just want to show visitors what our plans for the future are, but also where we come from and why certain choices were made,” Van Leeuwen says. “Those choices could be based on the building’s historic value, for example, or on sustainability aspects,” she adds. This makes the exhibition interesting to everyone, she believes, not just to the building’s users.

Train compartments

On the top floor, just above the exhibition space, several offices and meeting spaces have been realized according to the new design; this is a mock-up, designed to test how users experience these areas. Users of the open meeting spaces, which bring to mind train compartments, can open a questionnaire with a QR code. By answering a few short questions about their user experience, they provide Real Estate with valuable feedback. “Based on that feedback, we can determine whether or not to adjust the design before we implement it in the other rooms,” Van Leeuwen says. “Everyone is welcome to use these rooms, so if you decide to visit the exhibition, be sure to spend some time in the ‘train compartment’ and share your experience with us,” she adds in conclusion.

The Gemini renovation started in the spring of 2021. The renovation takes place in phases and, if everything goes according to plan, the building will be fully upgraded in 2027. Gemini North, the part of the building facing the Laplace square, has 14,000 square meters of floor space and has been fully stripped by now. Once renovation activities at Gemini North are completed, Gemini South will be given a thorough overhaul. The completion of Gemini North and Gemini South is scheduled for 2025 and 2027 respectively. After the renovation, the building will once more be used for research, education and offices of the departments of Medical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

Editorial note

The amount of journalistic freedom at Cursor is very unclear at the moment. In collaboration with the unions, the editorial staff has submitted a proposal letter with suggestions regarding press freedom to the Executive Board, and a first discussion has taken place. This article was published in anticipation of the outcome of the negotiation process.

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