The Amsterdam University College (AUC) is a joint institute founded by the University of Amsterdam (UoA) and VU University Amsterdam (VU) in 2008. The AUC offers a Bachelor’s (Honours) programme in liberal arts and sciences. Under its motto, ‘Excellence and Diversity in a Global City’, the AUC brings students from all over the world together in a selective and residential
English programme. This prominent institution is to be housed in a new building located in the heart of the Amsterdam sciences: the Science Park, where Aronsohn also advised during the design and (new) construction of the UoA Faculty of Science and research institute AMOLF.

Project information


Project managment




University of Amsterdam (UoA),


Mecanoo Architects, Delft

Project size

5.800 m2 GFA

Start of project




Consulting services

Construction management including post occupancy, European procurement of works, Safety and health coordination, site supervision
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The new housing for the Amsterdam University College envelopes approximately 5.800m2 GFA of classrooms, a library, a restaurant, a common room, project spaces, conference rooms and workspaces. With its characteristic zigzag roof and Corten steel façade finishing, the building has a striking appearance that contrasts with the more formal, business-like architecture of the Science Park that lies beyond. On the inside, the building’s style becomes apparent through its distinct daylighting and extensive lines of sight across the three rectangular open spaces and broad staircases, which form meeting spots for students and teachers.

The Amsterdam University College is a sustainable building. The Greencalc+ score is determined on a building index of 200. The compact construction mass makes for an optimal balance between façade surface and floor surface, and the proportion of open to closed façade area has been optimized. The building utilizes geothermal heat pumps and concrete core temperature control. The large roof surface is richly covered with stonecrop (sedum), improving insulation and water absorption. Finally, the application of motion sensors and daylight detection systems add to the building’s sustainability.

The project has been tendered using an Engineer and Build procedure; the designers’ and contractors’ subsequent, intensive cooperation has resulted in an optimized design. This is a procedure that Aronsohn successfully employs in an increasing number of projects.