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Campus development

Flexibility, sustainability, and being cost conscious are important parameters for campus development

The university owes it primary right to life to education and research. This requires buildings where students can attend lectures and staff can present them, where they can carry out research, and where they can support students with their studies. Our buildings, dating from the 70’s, are overdue for renewal and replacement because they no longer meet the demands of the current time and are expensive in terms of maintenance and energy use. Flexibility, sustainability, and being cost conscious are important parameters for campus development. New education and work modalities are being shaped currently and in the future by the buildings’ new designs and configuration. The advent of student housing and more elaborate sporting and cultural programmes will increasingly transform the campus into being part and parcel of the city.

VU Amsterdam, as an organic part of Amsterdam, is an (international) community that partners with other centers of knowledge, and cooperates with social organizations as well as the corporate community. The VU campus has all the requisite facilities for education and research and offers modern laboratory facilities (e.g., ML-I/II/III Labs and a Human Performance Lab with climate controlled rooms). In 2020 you will be able to visit the theatre or go to a film. The possibility of starting a new company on the campus will be facilitated by the Amsterdam Venture Studios, enabling one to use the knowledge, coaching, and network of researchers and the IXA. On the VU Campus one is moreover in close proximity to talented students.

Campus development

  • Campusplein

    Mature trees have been planted along the entrance to the campus (Van der Boechorststraat campus entrance), giving a boost to the university’s greenery and sustainability. The refurbishment of the Campusplein entrance is nearly complete. This is the only campus entrance also accessible by car. The goal is to carefully structure traffic flows and to create a safe situation for all. This marks the start of the redevelopment and greening of Campusplein. Underground cables and pipes were also replaced during the refurbishment.

    Campusplein will be given an urban - but green - atmosphere and it will become the heart of the university. The area will be an inviting place to meet, relax, study and work. It will be a safe and sociable place, an outdoor living area where you can sit and work on a terrace or bench, have a meeting or just relax. And even after you have finished your work, there will be plenty to see and do: performances, film screenings, and sports activities in the square. 

    Campusplein will be completely pedestrianized. There will be no more cars parked at ground level, and some of the parking places for bicycles and scooters will also be removed. More shops and restaurants will be built around the Campusplein area, and it will be the site of the first on-campus student housing and a hotel. All this will give it the vibrancy of a small town.

    Curious to see what our campus looks like? You can check out our campus from the comfort of your own home! See here.

  • Campus of the future

    VU Amsterdam and VUmc campus will double in size, bringing it literally and figuratively in contact with the Zuidas district. The campus of the future is a car-free urban environment with green roofs, inviting squares, underground car and bicycle parks and open buildings. Indoors you can see what’s going on outdoors, and the outdoor spaces encourage interaction. Sustainability is reflected in flexible buildings, Trias Energetica and the quality of urban planning, architecture and infrastructure.

    Studio Hartzema is the university’s urban development consultant for the transformation of the city campus. VU Amsterdam has developed a master plan as a framework for the further development of the area, buildings and outdoor space.

    The new campus will function as part of a future-proof whole thanks to the integrated development of the Knowledge District and Zuidas, together with partners and the City of Amsterdam.

    The new VU Amsterdam campus has everything to remain internationally competitive in the fields of education, research and business. Student apartments, hotels and restaurants, and a wide variety of recreational options bring the entire area to life. In short, the new campus is a focal point in Amsterdam’s Zuidas district where everything comes together in a welcoming, inspiring and ambitious city of knowledge.

  • New University Building

    De Boelelaan 1111
    1081 HV Amsterdam

    You will be able to enjoy an evening movie in the same space where lectures are given during the day - the New University Building will prioritize multifunctionality. It will combine teaching, research and the cultural programme of De Griffioen in the same rooms. The New University Building is located in the centre of the Campus, between the Care and Welfare Educational Institute (OZW), the Transitorium and the Energy Centre. The building features an underground car park: P3 VU Campus. By moving parking underground the quality of public space will be improved and the campus will feature more green areas. The car park has charging stations for electric cars. The bicycle parking facility will occupy one story under the new road that is created between the New University Building and OZW building.

    Together with O|2 Lab Building, the New University Building will replace most of the current Mathematics and Physics Building (W&N). The first tenants of the offices will be scientific research groups. There is scope for innovative teaching such as intensification, digitization, a range of study areas, and space for people to come together to exchange knowledge. The heart of the building will be formed by the atrium on the ground floor, where the grand café and shops will also be located. The first floor will accommodate the Library Learning Center (LLC).

    Architects Barry van Waveren and Jeroen van Schooten of Team V Architecten have designed a modest, flexible and sustainable (Breeam Excellent) building. The New University Building will ascend in steps, so that on the campus side it will be seven stories high and on De Boelelaan side it will be twelve stories high. The building has 31,000 m2 of floor space and will mainly be used by computer scientists from VU Amsterdam, as well as by students from all faculties.

    Video of the New University Building

  • O|2 Lab building

    De Boelelaan 1108
    1081 HZ Amsterdam

    Reception: 06 52440359

    O|2 stands for oxygen and is therefore a symbol of life. The O|2 Lab Building is one of the first university buildings in the Netherlands built to accommodate a specific research theme. In the O|2 Lab Building researchers from VU Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC - location VUmc jointly tackle socially relevant issues in the field of Human Health & Life Sciences in a state-of-the-art shared research environment. This will result in a mix of fundamental and applied scientific-medical research conducted by chemists, molecular biologists, analysts, biophysicists and bioinformaticians from the university and preclinical researchers from VUmc.

    In total the building accommodate approximately 700-750 employees. Creating shared space for comparable research generates opportunities to strengthen the research profile and to improve research infrastructure. Cooperation will be fostered by sharing high-end research equipment and the shared use of service labs. The collective use of high-quality research facilities enables and encourages the efficient use of costly research facilities AND knowledge sharing and collaboration. For example, the building will bring together a large number of biochemical labs and synthesis labs, a radionuclide lab and an ML-III lab (this means it’s a place where you can work with organisms that cause non-fatal diseases) all under one roof. Part of the building is intended as Lab Hotel (Mylab@Ol2-concept): a place where partners or commercial parties for example can rent the use of office and laboratory facilities for a specific time.

    The building has been designed to be as sustainable as possible. It will feature ‘future-proof’ laboratories with a high degree of flexibility - the ultimate tool for medical research. Cooling is achieved using water from the nearby Nieuwe Meer lake and other energy needs are met by VU Amsterdam/VUmc Energy Centre. O|2 has a sedum green roof, which absorbs water and provides insulation. The building’s structure lets in plenty of daylight, saving on the cost of artificial lighting.

    The O|2 Lab Building was designed by EGM architects. The floor space will be about 33,000 square metres. The building is shaped like a large cube, with two cut-outs that provide light. Striking angled columns – steel pipes of between 18 and 20 metres in length – support the construction of the cut-out sections. An atrium at the heart of O|2 channels daylight into all areas of the building. The ground floor will function as an urban plaza with restaurants, an information centre, a conference hall, meeting rooms and a bicycle parking area. A parking garage has already been constructed beneath the building.

    The Science Café is located on the ground floor of the O|2 Lab building. Here you can have a nice breakfast, lunch, or coffee. There is a "pop-up" room where you as a student can discuss and prepare your practicum and where presentations can be given. This is also the place for an informal drink and joint activities initiated by the "O|2 Community team". In the Eat Meet Work section you can meet, give seminars, consult, but also have lunch and drinks. 

    Video of the O|2 Lab building