A multi-functional laboratory and research building where ‘Encounters’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘sharing knowledge’ are the main objectives of the design
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‘Encounters’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘sharing knowledge’ are the main objectives of the design of the O|2 Lab Building. The remarkable building at the VU Campus on Amsterdam's famous south axis more than fulfils this ambition. It facilitates scientific research in Human Life Sciences and is the first university building in the Netherlands designed especially for multi-institutional research. EGM architects is responsible for the design of the sustainable laboratory building.
The O|2 building is a multifunctional building, where students and scientists can develop and share knowledge in a stimulating environment. The building is designed as a compact cube: the ideal basis for short lines and maximum interaction. For the interior design EGM architects worked together with Fokkema en Partners Architecten.
Voids cut out of the cube in strategic places create a spatial structure with spectacular lines of sight and draw daylight deep into the building. The voids converge in the heart of the building: the atrium with its many inspiring and informal meeting points where experiences are shared and people can relax in coffee corners.
From the atrium, a glazed interior façade offers views of flexible workspaces. Meeting points are created on the various levels in places where the different functions overlap, fostering social interaction and inspiration. Large voids and broad flights of stairs link the floors to one another and facilitate movement and encounters among users.
Strikingly slanted ‘Mikado Sticks’ in the large open corners of the outside terraces on the 7th floor of the building fit seamlessly into the column grid above and below. This ingenious structure lends the building its remarkable identity and makes its flexible and functional arrangement possible.
The O|2 Lab Building optimizes collaboration between researchers from various disciplines and the sharing of high-end research facilities. Each floor consists of an east and a west wing, separated by an atrium that introduces daylight and clarity into the building. Both wings are divided into zones for laboratories, offices and services, allowing staff and visitors to find their way intuitively. On the ground floor shops and restaurants, an information center and conference and education spaces are situated, allowing the iconic building to blend smoothly into the campus.
Modern education and research is constantly moving. The building has taken into account the ever-changing research programs. The flexible, universal laboratory modules are designed in a fixed pattern and can be connected if desired, allowing the building to accommodate future developments.
In 2018 the O|2 Lab building obtained the sustainability certificate BREEAM In-Use.
Interior design: Fokkema en Partners Architecten
Photography: Ossip van Duivenbode - Ossip Architectuur Fotografie, EGM architecten, en Fokkema en Partners Architecten