The Oudemanhuispoort and Binnengasthuis grounds have a long history that includes a variety of functions. This area has been home to a convent, a hospital, a museum, residential housing and a university. The history dates back to the Middle Ages, when the Oude and Nieuwe Nonnenklooster convents were located here.
For four centuries, the Binnengasthuis was the largest hospital in Amsterdam's city centre. What started out as a hospital in two convent complexes in 1578 would subsequently be expanded into a hospital complex through various architectural alterations from the 19th century onwards.
Inspired by the former convent structure, F.W.M. Poggenbeek designed the Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek (‘Second Surgical Clinic’) and the Zusterhuis (‘Nurses' Residence’), with a courtyard in between. The Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek features a ‘corridor system’: long halls that led to several wards. The internal division of the spaces in both buildings are still intact with many original elements, including the stairs with decorated iron railings and the Snijzaal (‘Anatomical Theatre’). The Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek housed the casualty accident and emergency centre, for example. Ambulances could drive the gate to the courtyard. In the near future, this former ambulance gateway will serve as the entrance to the new University Library.
In 1981, the Binnengasthuis became the Academic Medical Centre, from which point it was no longer used as a hospital. Up until 2011, CREA and STUC occupied the Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek in the Binnengasthuis complex, which in the meantime had been listed as a historic building.
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