university library of utrecht by wiel arets

the latest addition to the university campus of utrecht is the library designed by dutch architect wiel arets. it has become an elegant box with a façade consisting of printed glass alternating with black texturized concrete. the black concrete forms the outer walls of the book depots. between these closed volumes the library is one open and continuous space with a labyrinth of stairs taking you to the different levels.

the elegance and minimal design are bringing this library back to its essence of being a place of quietude and study. the glass faced has the image of bamboo trees printed on it. it filters the incoming light and completes the overall atmosphere. the interior is dark as the night with a light grey floor and some remarkable red furniture volumes. these were designed by belgian designers quinze & milan, with whom rem koolhas also worked together for the seattle public library.

the site on which the building is located is becoming more and more an architecture collection of dutch architects with an international reputation. there’s the minnaert building by neutelings-riedijk, the educatory by oma and laboratory by un studio for example. although the architecture might be from a very high level, the campus-model outside the city center isn’t one of benefits. after school hours the place becomes abandoned because of it’s mono-functional character. the housing is only focussed on students and other facilities are almost non-existing. the social elements of a city can’t survive in such a way.

for people planning an architecture trip to utrecht and its university campus, the site is nearby the schröder house and some other interesting projects. check the “gallery” section for more info and images.
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