The complex of existing buildings that housed the university library (the former city library), between Nieuwenhofstraat and Grote Looiersstraat, formed the starting point for the new University Library. The assignment was to turn this into a modern, open building that provides pleasant accommodation for the collections of the faculties of Economics, Law, Cultural Studies and General Sciences, 700 study places and 120 staff.
The plan consisted of the following interventions: a public connection between Grote Looiersstraat and Nieuwenhofstraat, with main entrance from the central courtyard, an extension to the building volume on the garden side, and the introduction of a central zone with a void and glazed roof. Where necessary, the existing buildings have been altered, demolished or extended to create a balance between old and new.
The goal for the interior was to thread the various volumes together by introducing an orthogonal grid and deploying a limited range of new materials. Owing to its simplicity and consistent deployment, new furniture commissioned as part of the design enhances the desired spatial continuity.
Maastricht University has thus acquired a light and transparent building where people can study in pleasant surroundings.