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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Library
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Wiel Arets Architects
  6. 2004
  7. Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects

Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects

  • 01:00 - 20 May, 2011
Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects
Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects, © Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti © Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti © Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti © Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti +23

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Architect

    Wiel Arets Architects
  • Consultants

    ABT Adviseurs; Huygen Installatieadviseurs bv; Heijmans-IBC Bouw bv
  • Client

    University Utrecht
  • Acoustic Advisor

    Adviesbureau Peutz & Associates bv
  • Area

    36250.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2004
  • Photographs

From the architect. The Uithof Campus of the Utrecht University gather a number of buildings signed by the most famous Dutch firms during the 90s and 2000: we can mention Mecanoo, OMA, Neutelings Riedijk, NL Architects. Wiel Arets won in 1997 the competition for the Library building.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

The library appears in this context as a solid composition of volumes, which show on the facade a play of alternating transparent and opaque panels. They are blurred by a repeated texture, printed on the glass and carved in relief on the black concrete panels.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

The texture is a pattern of jungle trees, which add some vertical movement to the facade composition. Some of the glazed panels are doubled, and slightly shift off the façade line, making it three-dimensional and contributing to regulate the sunlight. Their opening is automatically controlled in relation with the sun exposure, but they can also be opened manually.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

A suspended bridge links the library with the tower beside, while the side volume of the parking is connected to the main block by the basement. The courtyard garden designed by West 8 separates the parking from the library block. All of these volumes have the same texture on the facade panels, so that they are clearly part of the complex. The whole building is massive and rather dark, although the alternation, the texture and the shifting of the panels make it light and dynamic, with a special effect in night views.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

On the interior, the project turns into a very involving space, by materials and the interaction of volumes.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

The main entrance brings us to a gallery, and from there to a large staircase. The contrast between the white reflecting floor and the dark concrete panels is accompanying through the library space; once reached the first level, the atrium opens up into a full height, where different volumes stick in and out with the same wall texture. The composition of the façade becomes clear and understandable, as every outer solid wall turns into a spatial volume on the inside. The glass panels frame the full height spaces, closing it vertically at the façade line.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

These interior volumes house the various lecture rooms, desks, bookshelves and archives, on different levels, now as an open terrace, now as enclosed rooms with balconies and openings. Particularly effective is the meeting room above the reception area, cantilevered and completely glazed towards the atrium. The touch of red on some fixed furnitures enrich the chromatic scale of the interior, and catches the attention on the important spots.

© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti
© Jan Bitter & Andrea Giannotti

Walking on the distribution stairs and bridges – the open core of the library – we enjoy the space and atmosphere, its openness and its silence. Particular attention has been in fact given to the acoustics and the lighting: the relieved texture helps absorbing the sound, while the same texture printed on glass regulates the sunlight on the lecture desks. It is a building that allows students and visitors to feel in an open and interactive space while concentrating on the private reading.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects" 20 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/136377/utrecht-library-wiel-arets-architects/>
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23 Comments

ji-wei lin · September 21, 2011

I've been here last summer vacation. It's realy a amazing library. Love this place so much. And I miss Utrecht very much!

Jiji · May 25, 2011

One or two great photos by Jan Bitter and a pretty masterfully designed project as far as I can tell.

University Library · May 25, 2011

Textured black #concrete panels provide pleasing jungle motif to Dutch university library facade http://bit.ly/ijERPz #Lafarge

Pigmentec AB · May 24, 2011

Textured black #concrete panels provide pleasing jungle motif to Dutch university library facade http://bit.ly/ijERPz #Lafarge

Claire Cox · May 24, 2011

Textured black #concrete panels provide pleasing jungle motif to Dutch university library facade http://bit.ly/ijERPz #Lafarge

Lafarge · May 24, 2011

Textured black #concrete panels provide pleasing jungle motif to Dutch university library facade http://bit.ly/ijERPz #Lafarge

floor slabs · May 24, 2011

RT @precastspeccorp: Fantastic, inventive use of #concrete panels with contrasting finishes at Utrecht Library @ArchDaily http://ow.ly/4Z9hJ

WielAretsArchitects · May 24, 2011

RT @precastspeccorp: Fantastic, inventive use of #concrete panels with contrasting finishes at Utrecht Library @ArchDaily http://ow.ly/4Z9hJ

Jeroen Bosman · May 24, 2011

One of the best libraries in the world! ?????????????????OMA???????????????Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects http://t.co/fm3TR6q

NPCA · May 24, 2011

RT @precastspeccorp: Fantastic, inventive use of #concrete panels with contrasting finishes at Utrecht Library @ArchDaily http://ow.ly/4Z9hJ

Nicholas Patten · May 23, 2011

Utrecht Library. http://bit.ly/lx2SWJ

mvb · May 22, 2011

I visited too and the spaces are really impressive. The circulation system from the entrance and lobbies to the upper floors is very interesting and inspiring. Each floor is different, making you to discover every single space and the study rooms have different spacial configurations. Also, the structural system and the materiality of the facade create a strong identity and a comfortable and quiet atmosphere inside. Definitely, the architects put a lot of effort and care in this project, because the overall quality is very high.

May be this project is one of the best libraries ever.

Nicholas Patten · May 21, 2011

Utrecht Library. http://bit.ly/lx2SWJ

WielAretsArchitects · May 21, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects http://archdai.ly/kbKFsZ #architecture

ti · May 21, 2011

fuc** amazing this one! i´ve been there! beautiful

Tatsuro Ide · May 20, 2011

One of the best libraries in the world! ?????????????????OMA???????????????Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects http://t.co/fm3TR6q

Rafael Cubillo Bravo · May 20, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects http://archdai.ly/kbKFsZ #architecture

jumbleh · May 20, 2011

Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects http://ff.im/-DM8Gp

Barry Maguire · May 20, 2011

Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects via ArchDaily - © Jan Bitter Architect: Wiel Arets ... http://tinyurl.com/5vv4dd5

John D'Amelio · May 20, 2011

Fantastic, inventive use of #concrete panels with contrasting finishes at Utrecht Library on @archdaily http://ow.ly/4Z9hJ

r s · May 20, 2011

ArD Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects: © Jan Bitter Architect: Wiel Arets Architects… http://goo.gl/fb/FeTNg

Erik Joya · May 20, 2011

Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects: © Jan Bitter Architect: Wiel Arets Architects… http://goo.gl/fb/e7ZX2

Bocetos Digitales · May 20, 2011

Utrecht Library / Wiel Arets Architects: © Jan BitterArchitect: Wiel Arets Architects Location: Utrecht, The Net... http://bit.ly/lZ05cA

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