Universities have an interest in students and staff to be actually present at the university. Although knowledge transfer and interaction can be achieved virtually, face-to-face communication, due to its integral immediacy, is still more efficient for innovation and knowledge development. This suggests that places for Higher Education must therefore be more attractive for students and employees. This paper aims to answer the question 'which are the key satisfiers or dis-satisfiers when relocating a part of a university to another building, zooming into the programming of functions, the design and facility management?’ The results are of interest to researchers, (campus) management of Higher Education Institutions and architects.

Accordingly, this paper proposes that the physical university should become the 'place to be'. In order to investigate this proposition, the role of physical characteristics of the building and environment, relevant for users and contributing to social interaction, where examined. This research is conducted by using data, collected at a number of departments of an Amsterdam Higher Education Institution, before and after relocation. Surveys, personal observation and interviews, both at the old and the new location are the main methods of data collection. The empirical studies are compared and analysed based on findings from an extensive literature review.

We find that tare space and logistical programming of functions for chance encounters are crucial. The appreciation of the building in respect to social interaction, confidential conversations and the degree of pride on the building, turns out to be related to the degree of perceived attachment to the place. There is no difference found in valuation of the functionality through the introduction of flexi work. However for employees the possibility to give workplace significance, through the ability to mirror their identity in the setting, is a key satisfier for office space.