Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

University Library of the University of Amsterdam

Ira Koers + Roelof Mulder

Architects
Studio Roelof Mulder & bureau Ira Koers

Location
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

Category
LIBRARY

Area
2300.0 m2

Project year
2009

A library whose decor no longer consists of books has been turned into a ‘home’ in which to study. The UvA’s enormous collection of books is kept in closed repositories, book depots and at various open locations.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

A growing number of students, anywhere from 1500 to 5000, visit the University Library every day in order to study and pick up their digitally ordered books.

Despite plans for a new building in the future, the university wished to have a new, temporary interior design for the 2,500 sqm space that would comprise study rooms plus 235 extra workspaces, the canteen, the information centre with its desk, the hallways, and an automated lending area.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

To offer students a good second home, we wanted to achieve two important things: a space like the white page of a book where the students themselves would play the main role in determining how it is filled in.

And in certain areas a domestic atmosphere where the students could also study informally.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

For instance, in one of the study rooms you will find a number of kitchen tables where you can work in groups under the lamp, a chesterfield couch for reading a newspaper.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

Various sitting areas for a short break and special telephone areas in the hallways between the quiet study rooms.The columns in the canteen are transformed into illuminated trees with low energy light bulbs.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

Until recently, borrowed books could only be picked up at the library desk during office hours. Now the students can pick up their ordered books themselves in a newly designed red room that is open until midnight, including weekends.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

In red cases with 1105 red crates, piles of books lie ready for the borrowers.

Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers
Courtesy of Roelof Mulder & Ira Koers

Because these books come from different locations, this is the heart of the University Library, with a back office hidden from view in which the books are readied for self-service with the RFID system.

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