Challenged in competition to design the complete renovation of “Achter Sint Pieter 200” for the Research community of the School of Law, University of Utrecht, Fokkema & Partners suggested an elegant plan that efficiently transforms the building complex.

The proposal includes new additions to the original structure to ultimately form a resilient research and education facility with a spacious, warm and welcoming atmosphere, while confidently consolidating the monumental character of the site.


The historical monument "Achter Sint Pieter 200" it set just behind the Dom Tower in the city center of Utrecht. It dates from the 16th century and was once used by the province of Utrecht. From that time a distinctive monumental state hall, the former meeting room for the Deputies, remained almost intact. It also includes a coach house and a former archive building.


Structurally improving the routing through the interconnected buildings will result in a strong backbone for the design, especially with the clever integration of a central heart for the research community. This heart is located just behind the entrance. It is the seating area of the restaurant which would double as the main meeting space and central axes connecting to the terrace and both courtyards. Here, space is created for collaboration, symposia and workshops. Two staircases and lifts on either side of the restaurant provide good connection to the work areas, department “living rooms” and the monumental meeting rooms.


The top floor and roof would be renewed, adding space, significantly improving layout and comfort while also contributing to the complete insulation and installation plan. This way  a much larger area of the monumental complex can be used as workspace, making it possible to restore other parts of the complex to their original grandeur.


For each department a “living room” area is designed for internal consultation and collaboration. Workspaces are dedicated to concentrated working. They have obtained a generous ceiling height and abundant daylight entry. Installations throughout the complex are integrated into the wall panelling and floors. Original stucco decorations can be revealed.

Modern techniques made it possible to reveal the monumental elements. Interventions such as a new restaurant, roof and meeting rooms, are designed harmoniously to fit into the old structure, ensuring that the accommodation is ready for future times and new workstyles are optimally supported.


The University of Utrecht have chosen JHK Architecten to elaborate the plan they submitted for this competition. The plan as just presented to you by our office will not be realised. We thank the University of Utrecht for the opportunity to submit our vision on the assignment.

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