Science Park Amsterdam is located in the eastern part of the city, not far from the seventeenth-century historic centre. The park has an urban character in which buildings, landscape and open space are closely interwoven. The University of Amsterdam (UvA), the City of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research own the land.
The area has been planned to accommodate education, research and business. The eastern part of Science Park Amsterdam is home to the UvA Faculty of Science (FNWI). The imposing Faculty building situated in the middle of the site was designed as a place where people could meet and exchange ideas under one roof. The middle of the area, next to the Science Park ring-road, is devoted to the activities of various IT and Life Sciences businesses. The western side of Science Park Amsterdam serves as a base for four prominent knowledge centres: the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Sciences (CWI), the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (Nikhef) and SURFsara.
In the urban development plans, Science Park Amsterdam is designed like a network: a structure of semi-public meeting places in and between the buildings, connected by system of public open spaces. The landscape between the buildings has been designed along the lines of a so-called ‘chewing gum structure’, a term used by landscape architect Karres en Brands. It describes the appearance of the system of public meeting places between the buildings, which resembles stretched out chewing gum.
The area has been divided into five building strips, separated by four green ‘polder corridors’, confined within the green borders of the area. This has been done in reference to the historic polder structure of the area; it lends orientation to the old landscape and restores the elongated sightlines of the area.
The former Kruislaan (from the tunnel) has been renamed 'Science Park'. This and Carolina Mac Gillavrylaan are the main roads through the area. Both roads connect the park to the neighbouring Oost/Watergraafsmeer urban district.
The area boasts a number of research and IT facilities and catering establishments. The Universum sports centre is located next to the Faculty of Science building.
Housing has been built on the west side of Science Park Amsterdam. There are in total more than 1,000 homes: 720 student flats and commuter homes, rented and owner-occupied housing and a crèche. Three residential buildings are still to come.