The Anna Maria van Schurman Building takes shape

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Anna Maria van Schurman Building
Anna Maria van Schurman Building

At the foot of the Dom, Utrecht University will merge four buildings into a new teaching location: the Anna Maria van Schurman Building. Three national monumental historical buildings will be renovated and redeveloped, and the 1950s building will be replaced by new construction. A connecting atrium with a wooden arch will be built where the four buildings meet. The university aims to create the desired, inviting education centre by connecting these buildings. A structured complex that is explicitly connected to the street and is part of the city centre, naturally in keeping with the scale and character of the existing buildings.

A portal as a symbol of connection

In the preliminary design by DP6 architects, a connecting glass atrium with a wooden arch structure will be built between the four buildings. The new main entrance will be visibly and positioned on the Achter Sint Pieter side by adding a three-part openwork gate, where a wall with a gate used to be. On the Cathedral side, the side entrance in the stepped gable is emphasised by a single garden gate.

The design of the 1950s building to be replaced refers to the original buildings in the street, both in materialisation and articulation. On the inside, it will have a high degree of flexibility so that the building can be used in multiple ways in the future. The existing buildings will be renovated, building on the existing spatial and monumental qualities.

Connection to the future

Utrecht University has high ambitions in terms of sustainability. The Anna Maria van Schurman building will therefore be designed on closed cycles of energy, water, waste and materials. Using harvest maps, an inventory is made of which materials can be reused from the existing buildings. The structures of the new buildings will be made of wood and the elements will be detachable and thus remountable.

The project is in the preliminary design phase. After assessment by Utrecht University and presentations to residents and other stakeholders, the step towards the final design will be taken.