University of Amsterdam

Amsterdam. 2014

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2014
  • Cost: £77 Million
  • Clients: University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam explores large-scale reinvention. Two utilitarian buildings from a previous era – part of an incomplete masterplan by Norbert Gawronski – are stripped out, sliced open, reconfigured and then knitted back into the city’s fabric to regenerate a post-war university campus in the heart of the Dutch capital. A forty-metre section of low-hung, canal-spanning building is cut out and replaced with a four-storey void. Physically and visually opening up the campus behind and the zoo beyond, the void is bridged by a glazed double-height space and five storeys of workstations, all with new views across the city. A previously solid wall is punched through to create entry into a new triple-height passage connecting the two principal blocks of accommodation; this passage permits the building’s users to gather and orientate themselves while efficiently distributing faculty members to the vertical circulation cores Outside, a new pedestrian bridge draws into play the city’s canal-scape, the neighbourhood streetscape and the campus’ half-realised secondary axis. Inspired by Amsterdam’s historic canals, the bridge connects to a series of public rooms and commercial spaces that activate and open the buildings’ edges. Internally, elements have been removed to accommodate the university’s relocated Amsterdam Law School and the Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences by providing seven lecture theatres, seven seminar rooms, 86 tutorial rooms, a Law Library, a Moot Court, research offices, meeting areas, study landscapes, breakout areas, a roof terrace, 1,700 square metres of catering environments and 2,260 square metres of ground floor public gathering space.

  • Awards
  • WAN Education Award 2015
  • AJ Retrofit - International Innovation 2014
  • AJ Retrofit - Overall Winner 2014