Amsterdam University College wins the Amsterdam Architecture Prize 2013

by Cecilia Di Marzo
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30/04/2013 - The Amsterdam University College wins the Amsterdam Architecture Prize 2013 (Golden A.A.P.). The prestigious Amsterdam University College accommodates the joint liberal arts and sciences programme of the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam. The striking 6,000 m² educational building was designed by Mecanoo Architecten in Delft, the Netherlands.

The jury saw the Amsterdam University College in the Science Park as a building with two faces, which on closer inspection were found to be complementary. “The exterior primarily aroused expectations, raised questions. Inside, the jury members were struck by the harmonious way in which large and small spaces together formed a whole, while each component, right down to the details, had a clear (and valuable) identity of its own. Zoning, colour and acoustics contribute, both individually and together, to the reserved ambience, which would appear to be ideal for a student population with an above average promise for the future.”


The Amsterdam University College combines an intensive programme of studies with the cultural and social life of a campus. Francine Houben explains: “Amsterdam University College was designed as an inspiring home for the community of international students and their professors. It’s a friendly but robust home with a spacious loft on top.”
By positioning the tilting roofs diagonally, in a north-south direction, the sense of being in a loft is strengthened. Large voids form the heart of the building and create a visual relationship between the different floors. A staircase winds through the voids, symbolising a sense of community for its users.


With the annual Amsterdam Architecture Prize, ARCAM (Amsterdam Centre for Architecture) turns the spotlight on the best buildings built in Amsterdam each year. The prize is for the architect who designed and the client who commissioned the building built in Amsterdam in 2012 that has been deemed the most beautiful of all the buildings, or the most exemplary of the current situation, or the most daring and innovative, or ideally: all of these together.

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    Amsterdam University College 11

    Amsterdam University College

    Amsterdam / Netherlands / 2012