University of Amsterdam, FNWI faculty, Amsterdam

UVA, FNWI, Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Completion: 2009
Client: UVA Projectoffice FNWI
Program: Laboratories, study rooms, library, logistics
Sector: new architecture
Size: 10.000 m2
Architect: Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten BV.
Project architect: Barry van Waveren (reA)
Image credits: Jeroen Musch

In the east of Amsterdam the Science Park is in development. The centrepiece is the new faculty building for the UVA, University of Amsterdam. The FNWI, faculty for natural sciences and information technology, houses chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy and computer science. The UVA assigned three architects for the overall design. Rudy Uytenhaak for the central office volume C, Herman Hertzberger for laboratory building A and MVSA for building B. The difference in architecture makes the huge complex less monolithic.

Building B has a layered structure. The vast ground floor has all central facilities for the faculty, like glass and instruments workshops, goods delivery and storage rooms, also for risky chemicals. On top of all this is the study centre on the first floor, with a wide variety in study places, from single concentration cells to the study café where interaction within project groups is stimulated with specially designed furniture. The higher floors are reserved for laboratories that open up to galleries and a central bright green staircase with wide balconies. The facades are made out of polyester panels. The panels have a structured surface of black dots, simulating the microscopic images of a skin disease. Not that anyone would guess.