The University of Amsterdam is renovating and expanding its campus in the historic centre of the city. The design for the 17th century OMHP, which has been encapsulated over the centuries by surrounding buildings, is part of a master plan for the University Quarter. The new campus will be the intellectual core of the university, open to the city and society, welcoming anyone who is interested in the work of the Faculty of Humanities.
Our design transforms the rather cluttered complex of buildings from various eras, known as Oudemanhuispoort (OMHP), into an legible and coherent new environment for students and teachers, with particular emphasis on ceremonial and representative functions. The routing within the University Quarter and the connection with the surrounding streets and canals will once again become clear and uncluttered and will link up with the existing, monumental buildings and unique historic courtyard.
The preservation of the buildings and the addition of new facades, which are gently and precisely fitted into the historical context, converge the history and future of the historic center of the UVA. The new OMHP will house an auditorium/reception hall, offices, study areas and lecture halls, and will feature lots of green and lively areas for meeting and connecting.
A broad, long indoor street serves as a bright and welcoming atrium on the position where historically used to be an alley. This now acts as the distribution hall from which all functions can be reached. Right next to it lies the auditorium, an elegant, stately room furnished with understated, natural materials and flooded with daylight. Here we create a multifunctional room that can be used separately from the rest of the complex, perfectly suited to host all academic ceremonies. Excellent logistic organization ensures that incoming and outgoing flows never meet.
Above the indoor street, a small golden airbridge connects the new auditorium with the monumental buildings of OMHP. Coming from their chambers, professors and faculty members, professors and faculty members reach the auditorium via this bridge and will be used as a ceremonial route for the cortège.
Repurposing materials form demolished buildings, and using bio-based materials for the new construction, ensures that both the monument and the new additions are meeting the highest sustainability standards. Additionally, the new construction is made future proof and can be adjusted to adapt to growth or decline in student numbers.