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The new building of the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Science (FNWI) was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on Wednesday, 24 November 2010.

Her Majesty the Queen opened the new building of the University of Amsterdam'S (UvA) Faculty of Science (FNWI) at Science Park Amsterdam on Wednesday, 24 November 2010. The new building brings together all UvA science disciplines - teaching and research - under one roof.

The opening ceremony began with a short programme including speeches from Karel van der Toorn (president UvA Executive Board), Eberhard van der Laan (Mayor of Amsterdam) and Bart Noordam (dean of FNWI, UvA).The Queen then officially opened the building.

Encounters and exchanges

The design for the new building is by Rudy Uytenhaak Architects (coordinating architect), Meyer and Van Schooten Architects and Architecture Studio HH. Their assignment was to design a building that provides an optimal environment for cooperation between teaching, research and entrepreneurship, both within the faculty and with the nearby research institutes and companies at Science Park Amsterdam. The reasoning behind this is that encounters and the exchanging of ideas and experiences between people and scientific disciplines, along with cooperation between teaching and research, pave the way for renewal and innovation.

As well as being project architect for the new building, HH Architecture Studio was also responsible for the design for the renovation of the building which now functions as a laboratory building. This renovated building and the other faculty buildings at Science Park Amsterdam are connected with walkways to the new building, so that an integrated building complex has been created.

Laboratories, greenhouses and star domes

The new building includes several notable elements. It has advanced laboratories with a flexible infrastructure, the walls consisting of detachable and movable panels. The floors of the laboratories, where highly sensitive physics and chemistry research is done, are vibration-proof. There are greenhouses and climate chambers with advanced climate control for specialised biological and biochemical research. On the roof of the building, there is an observatory with a 51 cm reflecting telescope (with an extremely light-sensitive camera) and a sun umbrella for solar observations.

Science Park Amsterdam

Science Park Amsterdam, an area of approximately 70 hectares, was jointly developed by the UvA, the municipality of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) with the intention of it being an international science knowledge centre. With approximately 2,500 students and over 1,400 employees, the UvA's science faculty makes an important contribution to the vibrancy of the area. Universum, the new UvA and HvA sports centre at Science Park Amsterdam, was also officially opened recently. In 2012, Amsterdam University College (AUC) , a joint venture between the UvA and VU University Amsterdam, will also locate to this area.