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We are renovating the Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek and Zusterhuis buildings of the former Binnengasthuis Hospital, combining these with a new wing to form a single building for the library. This is a complex building project in the historic city centre of Amsterdam. The renovation and redevelopment of these listed buildings require architectural precision and collaboration with the municipality and local residents. The redevelopment and construction will take several years.

Het interior of the new UB in 3D

Het interieur van de nieuwe UB in 3D

MVSA Architects and Architectenbureau J. van Stigt will be preserving the nature of the existing historic building, while adding a spectacular glass roof and a new wing. The emphasis will be on encounters, studying and interaction. Alongside the UvA's teaching activities, the new University Library will therefore constitute one of the two main pillars of the campus.

Following discussions and co-creation sessions with students, lecturers, researchers and other employees, the University Library has been designed to fully meet their requirements. For example, this has led to a wide variety of study, work, teaching and learning spaces.


Artist's impressions of the interior, copyright MVSA Architects

Basement floor of the Atrium with study area

Atrium basement floor
In the atrium, we will offer space for events and/or exhibitions for anyone who is interested in science and culture. 

First floor of the Atrium with service counter

Atrium ground floor
In the new University Library, a team of employees will be ready to serve all visitors. Library staff and information and collection specialists will support the students and staff, helping them to consult collections and find the right sources. Specialists in the areas of open access, publishing and copyright will also be available. 

Study room with tall bookcases

Study room
You can study individually in securable one-person study booths and in quiet study areas where, together with other students, you can concentrate at reading tables or tables along the windows. Some of the study spaces are equipped with desktop PCs. The former hospital wards of the Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek building are being converted into atmospheric reading rooms with bookcases all the way up to the ceiling.

The former anatomical theatre becomes a teaching space

Anatomical theatre 
The listed anatomical theatre of the former hospital is being transformed into an unusual and prestigious room for lectures and events as well as teaching activities. The anatomical theatre can also be used as a cinema.

Collaboration room in new wing

The new wing
The library offers various types of study areas: quiet places where students can concentrate and various spaces for discussion, group work and brainstorming. All four collaboration rooms have mobile screens, whiteboards and flexible furniture. The collaboration room in the new wing is adjacent to a roof terrace. This terrace with roof garden offers fantastic views over the city centre. 

Seating areas in the corridors

The signature corridor structure of the old hospital and the terrazzo floor are elements that will be preserved during the renovation. The corridors will feature study spaces and bookcases. In this way, historical and contemporary elements are being interwoven to form a single appealing building.


The University Library will become the first national listed building that is completely energy-neutral and entirely gas-free. Energy, heat and cooling will be generated sustainably. Solar panels will be installed on the flat roofs. Heat pumps will be used to heat the building when temperatures are low and cool it when temperatures are high. The floors, roofs and fa├žades will be insulated. 

Modern technology will be used wherever possible. For example, sensors in the various rooms will ensure the optimum occupancy of the building.

The University Library encourages users to use bicycles or public transport as much as possible. There will be a large bicycle parking facility for 1000 bicycles underneath the building. 

Infographic: Facts and Figures about the new UB