Minister confers status of national monument on former W-hall

During her visit to TU Eindhoven today, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven designated the former W-hall as a national monument. The building, which since the renovation in 2011/2012 has shared the name MetaForum with the new building above it, has received praise as an essential example of the development of higher education in the reconstruction period (1940-1965).

This afternoon, Minister van Engelshoven handed over the National Monument Shield to the Executive Board of the university, making the title official. The shield will be mounted inside the building.

The status of National Monument is being conferred on the former W-hall, the decision explains, because it is a milestone in the development of architecture and building technology. Among the special features are the innovative construction method, the roof with its characteristic chessboard pattern and the original color scheme. Furthermore, the consistent application of the module format is considered to be a prominent factor.

In anticipation of the growing number of students, the building was standardized as much as possible so that it could be easily adapted. The hall was designed for machines and experiments. Already during their studies, the students had to be exposed to the atmosphere of real-life practice and the ‘engineer in overalls’ would graduate.

Jo van Ham of the TU/e Executive Board is particularly pleased with the recognition. “The renovation of the W-Hall marks a change in our thinking about the cultural-historical value of our real estate. Since then, this has been a constant principle in our housing policy. We are now building on the strong ensemble of buildings that has been present here for decades,” says Van Ham. “This can be seen in later projects. For example, in the renovation of the former Ketel building (boilerhouse) into the Ceres building, for which we were awarded the BNA architecture prize. And even more so in Atlas, where the renovation of the former main building is nearing completion.”

The designation is part of the national designation program Reconstruction (1940-1965) in which a total of 189 buildings and objects belonging to the best of that period have been selected, including the W-hall. Earlier this year, the Eindhoven Evoluon was also granted national monument status. Eindhoven has 150 of the total of 63,000 national monuments in the Netherlands.

The status of national monument is not only a matter of recognition, but it also offers the benefit of subsidies for maintenance and restoration. On the other hand, if the building is to be altered drastically, a permit must be requested from the municipality.