Faculty of Science - Header

Faculty of Physics Mathematics and Computer Science (FNWI) University of Amsterdam


An educational building equipped with educational facilities, laboratories (of various kinds, which entailed complex installations), library, offices and central facilities for the University of Amsterdam. The two semi-enclosed courtyards with the entrance hall in between, form a public space. Building parts A, B and D, which mainly house laboratories, each have their own identity.

University of Amsterdam
Rudy Uytenhaak Architectenbureau / Architectural studio HH / Meyer and Van Schoten Architecten
72.000 m2

The design

During the Preliminary and Final Design of the new construction project FNWI in Amsterdam, the installation cost budgets were within the estimate inaccuracy of the available budget. After completion of the Final Design, a cutback was initiated by the client, resulting in a lower new construction volume and a lower specific budget.

The revised principles have resulted in a new spatial design and installation costs. Subsequently, the tender was put out to tender on the basis of a new installation Voorontwerp+. The tender was based on a new division of roles, whereby the installer will further develop the design in a “construction team”.

On completion of the specification phase/work preparation, the target budget was adjusted to 31 million euros. The new greenhouse complex of the Faculty of Science in the Science Park Amsterdam (part of the project) was put into operation at the beginning of 2006.

The building is connected to a central energy supply consisting of an aquifer system (heat and cold storage) and heat pumps, supplemented with cooling machines and central heating boilers for peak load and operational reliability.

Our assignment

In the general and office spaces, the aim has been to achieve a modern and open design of the building. That is why we opted for concrete core activation, which is combined with an integrated “cable box” along the facade, in which the cabling and connection points (electricity and data) are included. The workplaces in the central area are accessible from the "open ceiling" via a sight installation. A sprinkler system that has been collapsed in the offices has also been used for the open structures. In the laboratories, a traditional suspended ceiling was chosen. This was necessary to integrate the large air volume (with after-cooling) and the many installations without creating areas that are difficult to clean.

It has been considered for the physics laboratories to leave out the lowered ceilings, because the pollution argument is less relevant here. The installation design is based on a very energy-efficient setup. For example, there is low temperature heating, increased temperature cooling and heat recovery on all air treatment systems and the lab cabinets. A high degree of flexibility has been projected within the building; it must be possible to change and/or move functions within the building (eg between laboratories, but also between laboratories and offices). To this end, additional investments have been made in the installation infrastructure down to room level.

Integrated lab wall

To support the flexible installation design, a clear separation has been made between the building-related installations (support) and the user installation (built-in). This has gone so far that the lab equipment (furniture, media and other lab facilities) is also modularly integrated with the walls between the labs. Supports have been installed in the walls at a fixed distance of 1,5 meters to which the lab cabinets and installations are attached “plug and play”. Due to this hard module size, adjustment and expansion is easily possible without cutting and breaking work.

For the buildings on the site (Science Park Amsterdam), the EPC value is 25% below the 2001 requirements. The EPC of the Faculty of Science building is approximately 73% of the requirement (2004).

In addition, the building is required to have an ECO-Quantum, which is 20% below the environmental performance of a reference building in terms of water, energy, materials and waste. To this end, various integrated solutions have been implemented. In addition to a very good building envelope, various energy-limiting variants were used, such as large transparent facade elements (daylight), daylight-controlled lighting fixtures, flow control for air treatment (demand-controlled ventilation). The high degree of flexibility contributes to a long service life. Concrete core activation was used for the office part.