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The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is to build a City Centre Campus in the heart of Amsterdam in the vicinity of the Binnengasthuis grounds, Oude Turfmarkt, Oudezijds Achterburgwal and Kloveniersburgwal. The campus is due to be completed by 2025. This university quarter will soon be home to the Faculty of Humanities (FGw), the University Library, the university’s administration offices, representative functions such as museums and associated knowledge institutions. Urban design and landscape architects West 8 are helping the UvA by developing a strategic master plan for the project.

Campus master plan

The strategic master plan for the area must describe the ideal scenario: sufficient space for education and research and UvA-related functions, with a focus on liveability and sustainability. One of the starting points in this context is the construction of the new University Library, which will open its doors on the Binnengasthuis grounds in 2021.

'Given current developments and the wishes of various users, the public space has to be redesigned, our buildings refurbished and we need to devise a dynamic living and management plan', says UvA director of Real Estate Development, Cees van der Wolf. 'The master plan lays the basis to make our campus a flagship for integrated area development and management; a place where students, staff, local residents, businesses and visitors can study, work, live and meet. Amsterdam City Council and the UvA are working closely on development of the university quarter and will shortly sign an agreement for the project.'

West 8

West 8 will work on the strategic master plan for the campus until the end of June 2018. Over that time, broad support for the project will be sought by consulting UvA users, local residents and the council, with a view to defining the basic principles that will apply to the area. Adriaan Geuze of West 8 will then be appointed as supervisor, and will ensure that the basic principles of the master plan are applied to any future developments in the area.

Adriaan Geuze: 'In this historic, layered area you can create a unique identity with a typical Amsterdam mix of academia, residential and business functions. Its important to establish the big picture first before you start to work on the individual components.'