Bibliotheek Bijzondere Collecties Universteit van Amsterdam

Oude Turfmarkt 129
De Wallen
Ph. Vingboons (origninal design), Atelier PRO architekten
Merkx + Girod architecten (interior)
College van Bestuur Universiteit van Amsterdam
Bouwcombinatie J.P. van Eesteren
Tram 4, 9, 16, 24, 25, stop De Munt

Special Collections

Oude Turfmarkt looks as if it has not been touched by an architect for many years, like a carefully preserved historic streetscape. This has not always been the case.
In the seventies, for example, there were plans to build the new Nederlandsche Bank, to a design by Marius Duintjer, here. More recently, too, various alterations have been made: in 2007, four historic buildings and an entrance gateway on Oude Turfmarkt were transformed in order to house the University of Amsterdam’s department of Special Collections.
Three private houses dating from 1642 (designed by Philips Vingboons), a gateway of 1732, which gave access to the Binnengasthuis, and the former St. Bernardusgesticht (a home for the sick and elderly) of 1883 were joined together to form a single building. The transformation process was a complex task because each building required a different approach. The three houses by Vingboons originally formed part of a row of nine buildings. They had already been radically altered in the mid nineteenth century, when the pointed gables were replaced by a single horizontal cornice that extended over all three buildings. The original internal structure was, however, left intact.
Each building was therefore dealt with differently by the architects involved. The interiors of the Vingboons buildings were restored wherever possible and the internal structure was retained. This was not possible in the case of the St. Bernardusgesticht, however, and the architectural office Atelier PRO has created a new build behind the original facade. The design is characterized by a spatiality, which has been achieved by means of an interior street that runs parallel with Oude Turfmarkt. Furthermore, the gateway to Binnengasthuisterrein, which is sandwiched between the Vingboons buildings and the St. Bernardusgesticht, has regained its function as an entrance gateway. Both old and new have been given a place in the building with its new function. (ARCAM/CL/TB)