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Mecanoo-Designed Amsterdam University College Opened
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2012 |

Precisely one year ago, Bustler reported on the topping out ceremony of the new 6,000 m² (64,583 sq ft) academic building for the Amsterdam University College, designed by Delft, NL-based Mecanoo architecten. One year later, this past Friday, September 21, the building was officially opened by Amsterdam councilor Lodewijk Asscher.

Amsterdam University College accommodates the joint liberal arts and sciences program of the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam. The educational institute forms the entrance to Science Park, the international knowledge center in the Watergraafsmeer neighborhood close to Amsterdam’s historic seventeenth-century city center.

Amsterdam University College, exterior (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Amsterdam University College, exterior (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Project Description from the Architects:

Amsterdam University College combines an intensive programme of studies with the cultural and social life of a campus. Francine Houben explains: “Amsterdam University College was designed as an inspiring home for the community of international students and their professors. It’s a friendly but robust home with a spacious loft on top.”

By positioning the tilting roofs diagonally, in a north-south direction, the sense of being in a loft is strengthened. Large voids form the heart of the building and create a visual relationship between the different floors. A staircase winds through the voids, symbolising a sense of community for its users. Distinguished spaces such as the restaurant, the common room and the study hall have two-storey facades with a beautiful view to the Science Park.

The striking façade is made of corten steel and furnishes the building with a warm yet formal presence which resonates with the architecture of the Science Park. Amsterdam University College is a sustainable building applying, amongst other things, thermal energy storage and concrete core activation. The moss sedum roof covering not only provides insulation but also serves as water storage. 

Void (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Void (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Staircase (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Staircase (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

First floor (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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First floor (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Winding staircase (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Winding staircase (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Tilted roof (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Tilted roof (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Study area (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Study area (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Interior (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

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Interior (Image: Mecanoo architecten)

Project Details:

Project: Amsterdam University College
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Project address: Science Park 113, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program: University building of 5,800 m2 with classrooms, library, restaurant, common room (living room), project rooms, conference rooms, workstations
Client: Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) en de Vrije Universiteit (VU)
Design: 2008 -2010
Realization: 2010 -2012



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