The University of Amsterdam (UvA) announced today that it is prepared, under certain conditions, to abandon the plan to partly demolish two listed buildings to make way for a new study centre and adjoining library at the Binnengasthuisterrein. The executive committee of the City of Amsterdam Centre District has indicated that it is willing to use its powers to cooperate with the University. This involves, among other things, granting the necessary permits to the UvA as soon as possible, facilitating affordable building planning and accepting the partial reconstruction of the courtyard behind the Second Surgical Clinic (Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek).
The agreements between the district council and the UvA have been laid down in a special arrangement. Further details of this arrangement will be discussed by the council’s Building and Housing Committee (Commissie Bouwen en Wonen) on 10 April.
To arrive at a new affordable plan for a study centre and library, the UvA will first make a structural design. It will indicate options for changing the use of the listed buildings and how this will affect their monumental value . In terms of the programme of requirements, the design of the study centre remains unchanged, with the exception of plans for a car park being scrapped. The study centre includes, among other things, the University Library, study areas, lecture halls, a bicycle shed and it will be the central meeting place on campus for the Faculty of Humanities in and around the Binnengasthuis area. The UvA and the district council agree that the final design should help create a functional, sustainable and flexible study centre, which is acceptable to the UvA in terms of investment and management costs and reflects the spatial and cultural-historical qualities of the area. Bureau Monumentenzorg Amsterdam (Office of Monuments and Archaeology Amsterdam) and the Dutch National Heritage Board have also been asked to contribute to the development of a structural design.
The UvA and the district council are committed to finalising their arrangement before 1 May, and subsequently completing the structural design before the summer. Once the arrangement has been signed, the UvA will withdraw its original plan. The UvA and the district council also hope that these developments will bring an end to years of discussions about whether or not to demolish these buildings and that the construction of the study centre and library can start as soon as possible. City of Amsterdam Centre District council also invites residents in and around the Binnengasthuis and Oudemanhuispoort to contribute ideas for the redevelopment of the area.