The University of Amsterdam revealed the design of its new library in the city center after three years of construction planning, which is expected to be done by 2021. The library is being built at the University Quarter, in Binnengasthuisterrein, for the Faculty of Humanities.
The university, which consists of more than 32,000 students, hired the architecture and design firm MVSA to design both the structure and interior of the new library. They have previously worked together for the construction of the Faculty of Science at Science Park. The award-winning firm is also renowned for the design of the Dutch Ministry of Finance in the Hague, the Rotterdam Central Station and the Grand Café Heineken Hoek in Leidseplein.
The new UB is expected to be above 12,000 m² and have a variety of rooms. Amongst them, there will be a brainstorming room with whiteboards, an offline room, a room with plants and an inner courtyard.
As of today, the university central library offers above 650 study places. With the addition of the new library, they will rise up to 950 working places and extra classrooms. This will allow a total of over 1000 students to work in the new library.
The plan stands out with a glass roof over the courtyard, which will be located at the heart of the building. Panels resembling leaf-vein patterns will also be installed which aim to provide a connection towards nature. According to the the architects, this construction is supposed to “create unity between the various buildings and to experience the UB as a single entity.”
UvA asked their students’ opinion on this matter through a survey titled “Study Places Tinder.” Respondents could choose whether they would like or dislike specific characteristics for the new study place. Overall, students expressed preferences for light and spacious study locations, which was taken into account by the interior designers.
The survey inspired MVSA to add seats in the atrium to allow students to work under daylight while protected from the often wet and windy Amsterdam weather. Further, since many students stated that they work better if they are surrounded by other working students, the interior design includes longer tables. This aims to encourage students to work together, accompanied by more secluded spaces for people who prefer to work alone.