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New University Library


MVSA Architects in cooperation with Architectenbureau J. van Stigt

The new University Library design connects the two historic buildings (the Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek and Zusterhuis on the Binnengasthuis premises) with a glass roof. The new, architecturally unique and modern academic building will double as both a library and meeting place with international appeal.

MVSA Architects and Architectenbureau J. van Stigt preserve the existing historic building's character with the addition of a spectacular glass roof and a new wing. The emphasis will be on learning, encounters and interaction. The new library will constitute – in addition to our educational facilities – one of the two main focal points of our campus.

The new University Library will finish in 2022 and will become a vital component of the University Quarter for UvA students and staff alike, where education and research will converge. In the future, this will be the home of the Faculty of Humanities and UvA-wide facilities such as the University Library as well as the Executive Board and the executive staff.

Shell & interior

The design consists of two parts: the shell design and the interior design. The shell was designed by MVSA Architects and Architectenbureau J. van Stigt. The interior was designed by MVSA Architects.

  • The shell design

Read more about the design of the load-bearing construction of the building and the exterior finish.

  • The interior design
New Library Atrium

We utilise our staff's professional knowledge for the benefit of education and research. In the process, we expand their knowledge. We help researchers with their research data because we know how important it is for it to be handled with care. You can also contact us for advice on copyright or open access publishing of an article or book. We can tell you where to find the coffee corner, the conference room or the lecture room in the building, too, of course.

scenario A impression library and studyroom UB
Reading room with tall bookcases

A university library is there for its students. They can study the way they want in their new building. After all, not everyone is the same. Good thing, too; this diversity is reflected in the study places. Those who wish to study in silence can open their books in one of the reading rooms. Surrounded by tall bookcases, you can feel how these high-ceilinged rooms breathe the history of the hospital. For a somewhat livelier atmosphere, you can sit in the atrium – our living room – where students, lecturers and researchers can meet. Do what you like.

The ground floor of the atrium with study area

The atrium is a meeting place not only for students but also lecturers and researchers in the humanities and other faculties. In the new University Library, everyone is welcome. For researchers, the new University Library will also be an ‘exhibition room’ for research. That is why we will regularly open the new library for lectures, exhibitions or other events: for, by and with researchers, lecturers, students and other visitors. Because we know that new insights and ideas are born from these kinds of encounters. The knowledge you get from others is immeasurably valuable.


Snijzaal nieuwe UB
The former anatomical theatre

Education is one of the pillars of the university and therefore also one of the new University Library. Accordingly, we have created a place for that. The former anatomical theatre, where dissections were performed on human bodies in the old days, is ready to host lectures. In addition, there are tutorial rooms, a classroom that facilitates active learning and a ‘sources’ room. We help lecturers with online teaching materials such as digital readers and syllabi.

Definitief ontwerp interieur nieuwe UB
The reading room in the new wing

Our reading rooms are equipped with everything a modern student needs. The whiteboard room encourages you to engage in discussion with each other. In the offline room, you go back in time when there were no smartphones or laptops. We provide ample room for development into critical, conscious students by creating an environment for improving 21st century skills, in particular students' digital knowledge and comprehension.

Definitief ontwerp interieur nieuwe UB
Seating areas in the corridors

The characteristic corridor structure of the old hospital and the terrazzo floor are elements that were preserved during the renovation. Study places and bookcases were added to the corridors, putting them to good use. Historical and contemporary elements have been interwoven into a single appealing building.

MVSA Architects is responsible for the interior design