Utrecht municipality designates eight university buildings as Young Monument

Luchtfoto van het Utrecht Science Park met stad Utrecht op de achtergrond

The municipality of Utrecht has designated eight university buildings as Young Monuments. Six of these young municipal monuments are located in the Utrecht Science Park. These are the Hugo R. Kruyt Building, the Minnaert Building, the Educatorium, the University Library, the Basket Bar and the Heat Power Plant on Limalaan. Two designated young monuments are outside the Utrecht Science Park. The recently renovated Universiteitsmuseum on Lange Nieuwstraat and the Dining Hall of University College Utrecht complete the list.

In the Netherlands, post-1970 buildings are increasingly being protected. In September 2023, the municipality of Utrecht launched the procedure to designate 36 buildings in the city as 'Young Monument'. The buildings all have an important cultural-historical value for the city of Utrecht. This list thus includes eight university buildings.

In September last year, the municipality already announced this decision by nominating the buildings. In the intervening period, the university considered the consequences of the proposed designation and submitted a so-called viewpoint. This is because the university fully understands the need to protect young heritage but wants to keep enough space for developing these buildings. In doing so, the university is looking at three aspects:

  1. Safety: first and foremost, the safety of buildings must be guaranteed at all times. This means that interventions in the buildings to remediate asbestos or improve fire safety, for example, should always be possible.
  2. Functionality: the buildings must be future-proof so that they can continue to be used for the university's core mission; education and research.
  3. Sustainability: some of these young monuments were built in the 1970s and no longer meet today's requirements in terms of sustainability. Both the university and the government have high ambitions to improve the energy performance of buildings, for instance. That should not conflict too much with the monumental status of the building. 

University studies consequences

The university has received a response to the views and the final designation for each building. The final designation states exactly what the monumental status refers to. These justifications will be studied in the coming weeks. Then it will become clear exactly what the effects per building will be and whether the university will file an objection.

Overview of new young monuments