Many had been looking forward to today, when Studenthuset was at last to be opened. A many-headed audience had gathered in the open space in front of Studenthuset, which has been tied up with a bow all week – a present waiting to be opened.
When the student orchestra LiTHe Blås, as entertaining as always, had brought its performance to a close, host for the day, Camilla Smedberg, with Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun, project leader for Akademiska Hus Anders Berg, and Minister for Gender Equality, LiU alumna Åsa Lindhagen could enter the stage. Now, only university architect Karolina Ganhammar was missing. Was she late, as usual?
It turned out exactly as we wanted
Photo credit Anna NilsenNot at all – she was just arriving by another route. Down from the roof, past the bow ribbon, came four façade abseilers, one for each faculty, and one of them the university architect. She was received with applause and admiration for her courage and strength. This applause was, of course, for her climbing feat, but also for the courage and strength needed to drive the Studenthus project to completion, from the first ideas raised in 2012 to today’s opening ceremony.
“And it turned out exactly as we wanted it to be”, says Karolina Ganhammar.
“It has been really inspiring to work together with Karolina”, Anders Berg tells us. “The project has been characterised by collaboration and a positive spirit, which we hope will infect everyone who is to use the building.
And Studenthuset is here for the students, to make their studies and their life as students easier. One person who is no longer a student, having taken her degree at LiU in 2008, is Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen. In honour of the day, she had been invited to open Studenthuset together with Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun.
“It’s just great to be here. And what a building! It makes you want to become a student again”, said the minister in her speech. “Linköping University has a special place in my heart. Thank you for all you gave me.”
Expansive vision and smart solutions
The presidents of the three student unions were also there to open their new building, and students have played a major role in the inception of Studenthuset. They have been members of innumerable steering groups and project groups along the way.
“We are so happy to have the building on this part of the of campus”, said Sofia Ritenius, president of StuFF. “As we toured the building, we were struck by how many different types of study place are available. Everything from normal chairs to armchairs and sofas. Quiet areas, and places for those who want to be in the thick of things. It’s obviously going to be a popular place for folk to come and study. Thanks for Studenthuset!”
Photo credit Anna Nilsen“Well, after all the thinking, after all the sketches, and after all the plans – just imagine, we’ve arrived”, said the vice-chancellor in her opening speech. In front of the building with its expansive vision and all the small but smart solutions. “We’ve been waiting a long time, and we’ve been so curious.”
So now the audience was probably extremely curious about how the opening ceremony itself was to happen. Were they really going to untie the huge ribbon around the building?
Well, no. To make it easier to open the building, a smaller model of Studenthuset had been constructed, also decorated with a bow ribbon. Each with a firm hand, Helen Dannetun and Åsa Lindhagen together untied the bow. And Studenthuset was well and truly open.
Translated by George Farrants