University Library , campus of De Uithof for Utrecht University

W.M.J. Arets

Nine storey block of concrete and glass

See the firm's site for wonderful pictures of the exterior and interior.

Walkway to the main floor

The first floor, not the ground floor, has the check-out desk and a covered bridge connects the library to other campus buildings.

More than a storage facility

This ensemble includes not only a library but a new parking block, a lecture hall, shops, and an espresso bar--making the building a social meeting place. The 33-meter-high reading room is open until late as well.

Pattern of willow rods

"Much of the facade glazing has a pattern of willow rods printed on it. This pattern is repeated as a relief on part of the concrete cladding" (Guide to Contemporary Architecture #168). The architect's site, however, says fossilized papyrus1 . The so-called fritted glazing helps to protect books from light.

1. Papyrus makes more sense since it was a traditional material used in paper production - derives etymologically from the Greek byblos, which also serves as the root for words such as bibliography, bibliophile, and in Dutch, and Bibliotheek, or library.

Works Cited or Consulted:
Groenendijk, Paul and Piet Vollaard. Architecture Guide to the Netherlands 1900-2000. Rotterdam: Uitgeverij, 2006.
Groenendijk, Paul and Piet Vollaard. Guide to Contemporary Architecture in the Netherlands. Rotterdam: Uitgeverij, 2004.

Other buildings on this campus on this site include: the Educatorium (Rem Koolhaas), The Basket Bar (NL Architects), the Willem C. van Unnik Building (Lucas and Niemeijer), the David de Wied Building (Hertzberger), and the Minnaert Building (Neutelings Riedijk).

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© 2016 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site) and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.