1980s

1983
It took until 1983 for a formal planning document ('globaal bestemmingsplan') to be approved of by the city council (May 26th). It was the first planning document ever for 'De Uithof' with legal status to be formalised. Not only the university opposed the residential aspects of the planning document. The Academic Hospital and the village council of the neighbouring Bunnik joined the resistance. The legal procedures to revoke the plan took a number of years and were brought to the highest legal authority in the country. The 'Crown' finally ruled the residential areas that were introduced by the city as not justified (1989) and consequently the cross-hatched locations (se map below) would never receive a formally acknowledged planning status.

1984
n 1984 a fresh master builder started working at 'De Uithof'. Aryan Sikkema saw the need to rethink the campus. He managed to bring in Rem Koolhaas and his Office of Metropolitan Architecture.

1985
Febr. 12th 1985, the Provincial Government formally approved of the 1983 planning document, with the exception of the residential areas. At the end of 1985 OMA was commissioned to study the future possibilities of 'De Uithof'. The bureau produced its views in the sketch 'Uithof 2000'. 'Uithof 2000' was meant to represent a long term perspective for 'De Uithof'. The study pretended to create order in retrospect, unifying the existing building structures. The main goal was to create a self-evident overall structure for the campus, using clear and simple means, using the qualities of the fragments that had already been put into place and allowing for seamless incorporation of new programme.

1988
OMA was commissioned to develop an urban design plan for 'De Uithof'. Architect and urban developer Art Zaaijer introduced awareness on two main qualities for the area: the strength of the old underlying park meadow landscape and the remains of the orthogonal grid of the original planning by Van der Steur. The one-liner would become 'cross or diagonal is old and straight is new'. Both qualities needed re-enforcement according to the principles of the new plan, which meant that the underlying landscape should be kept intact and where necessary reconstructed and that the built areas were to adhere strictly to the orthogonal orientation. Within the strict border of the 'clusters' all building and paving is allowed for. The city of Utrecht was happy to accept the plan as the underlying structure for a new formal planning document that were to replace the disputed one. OMA, Art Zaaijer, was appointed supervising urban developer and has held this position, until 2020, though no longer connected to the bureau of Koolhaas. He started his own architectural firm.


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