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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.

Amsterdam University College in Netherlands by Mecanoo architecten b.v.

October 8th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Mecanoo architecten b.v.

Cross fertilization of ideas and talent

Science Park Amsterdam, the international knowledge centre in the Watergraafsmeer neighbourhood is the new home for the Liberal Arts and Sciences program at the Amsterdam University College. Science Park is located in the eastern part of the city, close Amsterdam’s historic seventeenth-century city centre. In 2012, 900 international students will enter the new school. Surrounded by other science buildings, the Science Park provides an interesting environment for the AUC with optimal opportunities for cross fertilization of ideas and talent. The park has an urban character in which buildings, landscape and public space are strongly intertwined. Science Park encompasses a program of 500.000 m² in Total including office buildings, laboratories and educational facilities, hotel, conference facilities, sports and cultural programs, restaurants and housing.


View from crossing

  • Architect: Mecanoo architecten b.v.
  • Name of Project: Amsterdam University College
  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Program: University building of 5,800 m² with classrooms, library, restaurant, common room (living room), project rooms, conference rooms, workstations
  • Design: 2008-2010
  • Realisation: 2010-2012

Entrance from far away

  • Client: University of  Amsterdam
  • Structural Engineer: ABT bv, Delft
  • MEP Engineer: Ingenieursburo Linssen b.v., Amsterdam
  • Acoustics consultant: DGMR, Arnhem
  • Cost consultant: Basalt Bouwadvies bv, Nieuwegein
  • Project management: Arohnsohn advising engineers, Rotterdam
  • Building cost: €9.000.000



Roof sculpture
The new AUC will be located next to the Anna Hoeve, a historic farmhouse, which is surrounded by mature trees. Together, they form the new entrance to the Science Park, which is accessible from both the city and the new train station. Mecanoo designed an inviting sculptural building that matches the design language and materialization of the Anna Hoeve, creating contrasts with the more business like architecture of the Science Park. The building’s characteristic zigzagging roof creates a strong sense of identity for the Amsterdam University College. The faculty offers an optimal environment to study in. Daylight enters deep into the building from three elongated voids. The voids form a visual relationship between the different floors and, along with broad staircases, create important venues for students and teachers. The bent roof forms an attic where the more contained, quiet study areas and library are housed. The AUC is an inspiring and sustainable building for the students and their teachers. It is a place where one can study, learn, debate, work together and relax; a house where talent, ideas and ambitions come together.




The AUC is a sustainable building. The Greencalc + score is set at a building index of 200. The compact building mass creates an optimal ratio between wall and floor surface and the relationship between open and closed surfaces in the facade is optimized. The building uses thermal storage and concrete thermal massing. The large roof area has a sedum roof cover that provides insulation and water storage. Sensors which detect movement and daylight monitors are also applied throughout the new building



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Category: University Building

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