All plans, knowledge and insights come together in an inspiring vision for the future: the Vision for the University Quarter. It lays the groundwork for the work to be done in the area, and is discussed in chapter 6. The connection with the city centre and a solid foundation for the future are essential to this vision. The mix of functions offers a colourful addition. After centuries of transformation, we are once more at the start of a new chapter for an area with a special atmosphere and an identity of its own.
This historic location is the UvA’s calling card as well as its beating heart. For Amsterdam, this is a significant decision as it safeguards the mix of functions that is important for the quality of life and economic vitality of the city centre for the coming decades.
The decision to accommodate the Faculty of Humanities here, along with the new University Library, the Agnietenkapel, the Allard Pierson and other scientific institutes, gives expression to the wish of the UvA and the municipality for the UvA to have a prominent role in the area’s transformation and further development. The unofficial name ‘University Quarter’ symbolically expresses that role.
The University Quarter consists of a mix of living, working, studying, research, retail and catering facilities. Within this mix, the UvA is a function with an emphatic presence and, from that position, contributes constructively to the appearance and utilisation of the area, and so to its atmosphere and character.
The housing of the full Faculty of Humanities and the arrival of the University Library add a new chapter to the long and rich history of the area, and to the UvA’s presence in it. The area is once more a quality and dynamic part of the city centre, but one with its own character. It is once more associated with study, debate, knowledge exchange, finding purpose, contemplation, inspiration, meeting, relaxation, repose and vivacity.
Students, employees, residents, entrepreneurs and visitors criss-cross the area. They flow in and out of faculty buildings, visit the University Library, return from work or shopping, meet each other in one of the central spaces or spend a moment of quiet in one of the green courtyards. Their footsteps echo those of priests, monks, friars, nuns, surgeons and nurses from bygone eras. Visitors looking for excitement and entertainment disregard the area uninterestedly, but visitors attracted by its subdued atmosphere and curious about what else this part of the city centre has to offer will go in to explore. The University Quarter exudes a different atmosphere than the surrounding area. Since the implementation of the Agenda Amsterdam Autoluw programme, spending time by the green canal-sides has become considerably quieter, cleaner and safer.