On Tuesday, 1 September, part of the canal wall along the Grimburgwal collapsed. The wall in question is outside building BG2 (Binnengasthuis premises), which houses the Education Desk of the Faculty of Humanities and the Art History Department. The UvA immediately evacuated the building as a precaution. Everyone who was in BG2 was able to leave the premises safely.
Research has confirmed that the buildings are safe and in a stable condition. Further research is being conducted with regard to the canal wall itself. Please note: the doors on the rear side of the buildings will remain closed for now.
The two UvA buildings that were closed as a precaution following the collapse of the canal wall on the Grimburgwal will not be accessible for at least the next week. Measuring points have been installed in the buildings to monitor whether they are also being affected by the subsidence. The UvA will receive the advisory report from the engineering firm on this next week. Work is also still underway on the emergency efforts to shore up the collapsed wall and the UvA will wait until those activities are completed before further decisions are taken.
The possibility that the two buildings could be closed for an extended period had already been taken into account. The planned teaching and other activities have therefore already been moved to alternative UvA locations or are being carried out from home.
The City of Amsterdam has put emergency measures in place to support the canal wall. The state of the two UvA buildings located along the canal wall will be monitored in the coming days. These two buildings, BG1 and BG2 will remain closed at least until the end of the week. Staff members can come and pick up belongings under the supervision of the buildings’ security staff and have been informed about this by their faculty.
We expect to be able to provide more clarity about the buildings’ reopening on Friday. Any lectures and tutorials scheduled in BG1 and BG2 for this and the coming week will be moved to other locations. The Education Desk has been temporarily relocated to the P.C. Hoofthuis.
In May of this year, the paving on the canal side was renewed. This was commissioned by the UvA. On 18 August subsidence of the pavement was observed; the UvA then closed off the rear of the building as a preventive measure so that the canal side was no longer accessible to students and staff. An investigation was started immediately into the cause of the subsidence. This investigation and related activities were ongoing, with an extra camera inspection planned this week, for example.
What exactly happened to the canal wall, and the cause, is still being investigated. The UvA is working closely together with the City of Amsterdam on this.
Following the evacuation of BG2, BG1 was also evacuated later in the afternoon as a precaution. Throughout the afternoon, the UvA is investigating the situation in close collaboration with the municipality. At the same time, the buildings are being closely monitored. The preventively evacuated buildings, BG1 (Media Studies and ACASA) and BG2 (Faculty of Humanities Education Desk, Art History and Culture Studies), will remain closed for the time being. An update on this situation will follow as soon as possible.
The Education Desk remains digitally available via uva.nl/dssd. The desk cannot currently be reached by telephone. Students or employees who had an appointment at the desk, for example to pick up a diploma, have been contacted personally. Employees who planned to work in BG1 or BG2 for the next few days are advised to stay at home.
A fibre optic cable was damaged during the collapse of the wall. This will not have a direct effect on digital accessibility since all the necessary connections are backed up.
Because of the coronavirus measures in place, only a small number of people were present in the building. The entrance to the building is at the rear (not on the side of the collapsed wall). The cause of the collapse is still being investigated.