Amsterdam Academy of Architecture

Since 2021, we have designed a series of spatial interventions and renovations at the premises of the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. This historic site, located at Waterlooplein in Amsterdam, consists of a 17th-century building complex comprising the Oudezijds Huiszittenhuis and the adjacent Arsenaal.


Our work can be described as architectural acupuncture. With each intervention, whether large or small, we strive to perform the right action in the right place to achieve the greatest effect for the historical building and its future use. In addition to this modest approach, the interventions are also explicitly ambitious. Through a continuous series of interventions, the Academy aims to directly showcase the architectural design skills it seeks to impart to its students, as well as embody the values of sustainability that are prominently integrated into the curriculum.


One such intervention is the new entrance of the Academy. A large sliding door, colored ‘Canal Green’ on the outside and ‘Academy White’ on the inside, provides the building with a generous entryway, necessary for students bringing in large models. The Academy’s logo, featuring two overlapping circles, and the house number on the sliding door align perfectly with each opening.


In the entrance area of the Academy, we designed a display cabinet to showcase students’ work. For this, we repurposed old doors from the building of the neighboring faculty, the Reinwardt Academy, the heritage conservation school of the Amsterdam University of the Arts, located approximately 100 meters from the Academy. Sustainability and circularity are important themes in the Academy’s education, reflected in their ambition: (R)evolution Planet – Building towards a sustainable future. Coincidentally, the first door that was harvested was labeled “emergency exit.”, linking the project to the necessity of the transition that we have to make towards a more sustainable way of building and designing.


Another intervention is a storage cabinet beneath the open staircase of the Academy, designed by Claus and Kaan Architects during a renovation in 2010. The cabinet is clad on one side with mirrored stainless steel panels, matching the dimensions of the floor tile pattern. Old and new visually merge into a cohesive whole.

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Client: Amsterdam Academy of Architecture / Amsterdam University of the Arts

Program: Entrance area, display cabinet, storage space, etc.

Status: Completed

Team: Jarrik Ouburg, Carsten Hilgendorf, Pedro Magalhaes

Photography: Max Hart Nibbrig