The UvA wants to demolish Theo Bosch's pavilion, better known as BG3, but local residents are furious. ‘We can always go to court.’
Finally the time has come: the Strategic Master Plan for the design of the University Quarter has been published; the area in and around the former Binnengasthuisterrein, where the new University Library and the Faculty of Humanities will be located.
The area is considered ‘the birthplace of the UvA’ because the Athenaeum Illustre, the predecessor of the UvA, was founded here in 1632, lending high symbolic value to the project.
Conflict about the construction of the new University Library between the UvA, the municipality and local residents has been going on for twenty years. The first plan involved the demolition of the existing monumental buildings which were to be replaced by a controversial new structure.
The second plan involved the restoration of various monumental buildings, the building of a new roof over what used to be an inner garden, and the knocking down of the old Atrium.
Residents were satisfied with the new restoration plan and the University Library is now under construction. The intention is that it will be complete in 2023.
The design of the outdoor space is next on the agenda. The issues are liveability, (social) safety, greening and protection and visibility of restored monuments. The area would be used for studying, cycling, recreation, eating and drinking.
UvA president Geert ten Dam is very proud of a plan for this outdoor space, she said in a press statement. Mayor Femke Halsema is also happy. However, local residents are extremely dissatisfied, having countered the UvA plan with one of their own, which they feel has been ignored.
They protest that the new plan places too much emphasis on facilitating (student) activities, that there would be too little green space and that the area will be too ‘open’ with consequences for social safety. Another stumbling block is the demolition of the oval pavilion designed by architect Theo Bosch (BG3) and the building up of the open space that would be created on the site of the former Atrium mensa.
A resident says she is furious. ‘We have been involved in the process of the UvA and the municipality for two years, but the latest plan does not take our discussions into account at all.’
‘We are going to do everything we can to stop this. There are still all kinds of permits that need to be issued and we can always go to court.’