In 2007, AHMM won the international idea competition for the large-scale reinvention of a post war University of Amsterdam campus by Norbert Gawronski, in the heart of the Dutch capital.

Through strategic remodelling of existing megastructure, a cut-out knits inner-city fabric and canal system to the campus, a bridge spans the canal and connects faculties on both sides, a passage offers a coherent public promenade up through the built social rooms.

A forty-metre section is removed from the canal-spanning block and replaced with a four-storey void. It reconnects the lost campus behind and historic green spaces beyond. The opening’s lintel provides a double-height city room for the campus, with floors of research office above.

A second campus axis traverses the canal with a generous new pedestrian bridge in the tradition of the city’s historic canal-scape, connecting the campus entrance to a new triple height passage between the remodelled buildings. It completes a canal oriented setting of public and catering rooms that animate this new outdoor landscaped amenity.

Within the preserved massing, the two utilitarian concrete structures from a previous era are stripped out, and reconfigured to house the Law and Social & Behavioural Sciences faculties with their complex array of spaces – 7 lecture theatres (seats 1,650), 7 seminar rooms (seats 440), 86 tutorial rooms (seats 2,000), a Law Library, Moot Court, research offices, meeting and breakout areas, study landscapes, roof terrace, and a variety of catering environments.

Collaboration was crucial in negotiating the institution’s legacy of complex real estate circumstance, nebulous and ever-evolving stakeholder interests, and competitive educational ambitions. Ten years of continuous engagement had witnessed one competition win became two construction phases by different contractors, for three connected buildings, from four design projects with five generations of client representation… to deliver a coherent city campus.

  • 2022 Architecture Today Test of Time Award - International category
  • 2018 RIBA Award for International Excellence
  • 2015 WAN Education Award
  • 2014 AJ Retrofit - International Innovation
  • 2014 AJ Retrofit - Overall Winner

  • 2009 Summer Exhibition
  • 2007 Summer Exhibition
Amsterdam, Netherlands
£84.5 Million
University of Amsterdam
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Subconsultant Architect: Phase I
ZZDP Architecten (NL)
Structural Engineer
Pieters Bouwtechniek (NL)
Services Engineer
Ingenieursburo Linssen B.V. (NL)
Building Physics
LBP Sight (NL)
Cladding Consultant
IBS Consultants B.V. (NL)
Central Plant Advisor
Deerns Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV (NL)
Graphic Designer
Hat-trick Design (UK)
Health & Safety
Adviesburo Nieman B.V. (NL)
Project Manager: Phase I
Royal Haskoning DHV (NL)
Project Manager: Phase II
Aronsohn Management (NL)
Cost Advisor: Phase I
Royal Haskoning DHV (NL)
Cost Advisor: Phase II
Aronsohn Management (NL)
Main Contractor: Phase I
BAM Utiliteitsbouw (NL)
Main Contractor: Phase II
TBI Holdings B.V. (NL)

Design Partners

Interior Design (Phase I offices)
Fokkema & Partners Architecten (NL)
Interior Design (study landscapes)
PUUR Interieurarchitecten (BE)
Landscape Architect
Inside Outside (NL)
Palmbout Urban Landscapes (NL)

Review of 2023 08.01.24

AT Awards shortlist 2022 06.10.22

The Alder Centre wins WAFX category prize 09.10.18

University of Amsterdam wins RIBA Award for International Excellence 09.05.18

RIBA International Prize jury visits University of Amsterdam 22.03.18

University of Amsterdam makes RIBA International List 2018 13.12.17

AJ Retrofit Award 19.09.17

Architecture and the Art of the Extra Ordinary at the British School at Rome 03.07.17

University of Amsterdam wins WAN Education Award 29.04.15

University of Amsterdam nominated for Dutch architecture prize 06.03.15

University of Amsterdam celebrates official opening 11.02.15

University of Amsterdam Crowned AJ Retrofit of the Year 18.09.14

AHMM’s Amsterdam Research Trip 21.07.14

Key Milestone for University of Amsterdam 09.04.14