Beacon of Buitenveldert
VU Main Building Image Archive
Iris Burgers: “The VU Main Building has been in operation for over fifty years now. As the final piece of the VU Campus, it was officially opened by Queen Juliana on 12 April 1973. The Main Building is now a well-known architectural beacon on the corner of De Boelelaan and Buitenveldertselaan. Perhaps so familiar that we don't realize how special this building is.”
“In order to complete the campus, various functions had to be housed in the early sixties, such as the central library, rooms for administration, the auditorium and seven alpha faculties, including support facilities for students and staff, such as a large restaurant. Because remaining space on the campus site was limited, this multitude of functions was bundled in a huge building. At the time of its opening, the Main Building was the largest building in Amsterdam: larger than De Nederlandse Bank and the Amsterdam GAK building combined. The result was a modern and carefully designed building, which is still fully operational in 2023.”
Iris Burgers is an architectural historian and works at VU Amsterdam as an assistant professor. In her research, she examines the question of how the imagination of our living surroundings influences both the perception and design of these spaces.
magazine for humanities alumni june 2023