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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

University Library Utrecht (UBU) in the Netherlands by Wiel Arets Architects

 
May 29th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Wiel Arets Architects

The UBU, comparable to a data recorder, is more than a place where people can consult books; it is a place where they can work in a concentrated fashion, but also one where they can meet other people without the need of any other stimulation except the atmosphere that the building radiates.

Night View

  • Architect: Wiel Arets Architects
  • Name of Project: University Library Utrecht (UBU)
  • Location: University Campus ‘De Uithof’, Heidelberglaan 3, 3584 CS Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Project team: Wiel Arets, Bettina Kraus, Harold Aspers, Dominic Papa, René Thijssen, Frederik Vaes, Henrik Vuust
  • Collaborators: Pauline Bremmer, Jacques van Eyck, Harold Hermans, Guido Neijnens, Michael Pedersen, Vincent Piroux, Jan Vanweert, Michiel Vrehen, Richard Welten
  • Photographs: Kim Zwarts (façade print), Jan Bitter, Henryk Gajewski, Bas Princen, Christian Richters, Héléne Binet
  • Software used: Vectorworks

Exterior View

  • Furniture design: Custom-made furniture and desks designed by Wiel Arets Architects and produced by Quinze & Milan, Chairs and tables produced by Vitra
  • Garden architect: West 8
  • Date of design: 1997 – 2001
  • Date of completion: 2001 – 2004
  • Models: PedroAnão, Nick Ceulemans, Mai Henriksen, Carsten Hilgendorf, Kees Lemmens, Rob Willemse
  • Client: University Utrecht (UU)
  • Program: 4.2 million books, 1.000 seats, 450 parking places, 300 workstations, 6 shops, 1 auditorium, 1 bar
  • Area: 36.250 m2

Night View

The book depots, which seem to float, divide the space into zones and are interconnected by stairs and slopes. All in black figured concrete on which a partly double-glazed facade to which a silk-screened figurative pattern has been applied in order to let natural light into the building, encases the reading rooms. The glass façade also encloses the car park like a smooth skin, thereby making it an integral part of the complex. On one side it is the university site where the view from the raw interior offers a filtered prospect of the open countryside surrounding it, on the other, there is the view of the long slopes situated beside the inner courtyard that work as blinds to filter the view of the car park.

Front View

Based on the idea that silent communication is important in a building where there is hardly any talking, the atmosphere is determined with an emphasis on creating a sense of security. That was essential for the choice of a black interior. A light, shiny floor provides enough reflection of natural or artificial light to illuminate some of the 42 million books that are on open shelves, while the long white tables make it possible to read a book or to consult electronic information without too much effort. The individual workplace with full facilities is the key element, and has been positioned in such a way that the user’s choice of a workplace also determines the degree of communication with other users.

Cafeteria

Absorption versus confrontation, working in a concentrated way versus communication, is the main premises in this library where the infrastructure has more than one function. The route is also programmed by it, since the bar, the lounge area, the reception corner, the auditorium, the desks, all fitted with red rubber and other programmes such as shops, add an extra dimension to the route, thereby breaking down the mono-functionality of the library program.

Entrance

Exterior View

Exterior View

Side View

Exterior View

Exterior View

Exterior View

Exterior View

Book self

Book self

Interior View

Side View

Related posts:

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Categories: Library, Vectorworks

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