Latitude/Longitude: 52.3566, 4.9578
The new building for the University of Amsterdam’s Science Centre (FNWI) is the product of a collaboration between Architectuurstudio HH, MVSA, and Rudy Uytenhaak Architectenbureau, which acted as the coordinating architect.
The idea is that the combination of divergent architectural styles produces a complex that will offer the staff and students of the different science disciplines a shared home with a variety of places and characters.
Each of the three sections has its own identity. The wing designed by MVSA is an accumulation of three programmatic elements. At ground floor the support services. The first floor, reached via a wide staircase from the central hall, contains the most public functions – the library and study centre. The spaces here spill over into one another, creating a landscape of widely different forms and uses, from the central student plaza with service desks and the ‘sciences’ lounge, to the hushed, monastic-style study spaces which were fitted out by MVSA. The third programmatic component consists of three floors of flexible laboratory spaces, which could be converted into offices if needed. The laboratories are situated directly across from the office floors designed by Uytenhaak. Divided by the lightwell is which floods the space with natural light.
The elevations reflect the vertical organization of the wing. On the ground and first floors the glazing is floor to ceiling. On the laboratory side the window band is much narrower in the interests of a stable internal climate. The closed facade panels carry a pattern of black burls that are an abstract representation of microscopic images of skin cells.
⇒ Architecture Guide to AMSTERDAM