“Of course there’s a bit of apprehension, just like when two people move in together. This is five families who have moved into the same building. We don’t know each other and our daily routines yet. We’ll have to find out as we go along”, said Therese Whass, a student at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies about how it feels to move into LUX.
Therese Whass said that those who were sceptical along the way find it difficult to remain so now that they are here and everything is finished. One of the concerns, for example, was how a sense of community would be maintained in a small department that now belongs to a much larger community.
The decision to build the new humanities and theology building LUX was preceded by innumerable discussions, examinations of blueprints, and standpoints on matters large and small. Two years ago, in March 2012, the first sod was turned, and now LUX is open and staff and students have moved in. LUM attended the official opening to hear how the new residents feel and what expectations they have of their new life at LUX.
“It’s fantastic – beyond all our expectations. We’ve gained a new meeting place”, said Fredrik Lindström, Pro-Dean of the Faculties of Humanities and Theology with a big smile in the crowd at the opening. “I’d seen all the drawings, but you can’t really imagine what it’s going to be like until it’s complete and you get there. The marriage of old and new, which is symbolic for our faculties, has been achieved very elegantly, right down to the details.”
Fredrik Lindström belongs to the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR). In their old premises, a lot of people shared large offices, but they had few other shared spaces. Some were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to take all their books and such with them, but now that they’ve arrived most are very positive, according to Fredrik Lindström.
“I think the architecture here at LUX encourages many spontaneous encounters between people and disciplines, and it inspires lecturers across faculty boundaries, which will lead to new, unexpected research collaborations.
On the day of the official opening, the departments were open to visitors with a varied programme of activities. At the Department of Archaeology, which is housed in the old Animal Physiology building from the 1960s along with the Department of History, doctoral student Katarina Botwid was demonstrating and talking about her research.
“It’s great that we are finally all under the same roof. I am really in favour of this move. I think the more areas of expertise that meet, the more ideas are born”, she said.
She reckons the coffee machine is the new smoking area: it’s where people meet and it’s important that these types of informal meeting places are included when such a building is constructed.
“There’s a doctoral student from the Department of Philosophy whom I’ve met four times in two years; we’ve now met four times in two weeks”, she said.
Under the eaves on the fourth floor in the oldest part of LUX, the former Zoology building from 1917, sits Fritz-Anton Fritzson from the Department of Philosophy. He shares an office with five other doctoral students.
“Most things have worked well since we arrived. The computers and telephones were connected, so we could just set to work. But of course there was bitterness at having to leave Kungshuset”, he said.
He thinks they have plenty of space. However, along one wall are various artworks that are to be returned to the University art collection because there isn’t room for them in the new building.
“In Kungshuset, Samuel von Pufendorf is said to have haunted the corridors. However, he doesn’t appear to have come with us to LUX”, observed Fritz-Anton Fritzson.
On the steps on the way out, we meet Mikael Askander, a lecturer and researcher in intermedial studies and cultural administration at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies.
”It’s very inspiring and always refreshing to move”, he said. “It’s great that you’re always finding new things and new people in the building. You need to discover this house over an entire year in all seasons: how does it function in winter, with slush in the foyer and so on”, he goes on.
After talking to all these new residents of LUX, it feels as though we can trust the maxim engraved in the paving outside the main entrance: “Allt kommer nog att bli bra” (Everything will probably work out all right).
Text: Gisela Lindberg
Photo: Gunnar Menander
FOOTNOTE: Samuel Pufendorf (1632–1694) was one of Lund University’s first professors, and his ideas had a major influence on other contemporary and later scholars.
Departments that have moved in:
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (CTR)
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Department of History
Department of Philosophy
Humanities and Theology Faculty Office
Number of staff: approx. 400
Number of students: approx. 3000
Student study spaces: approx. 550
Total floor area: 18 100 m2
Architect: Jais Arkitekter