Lab & Office Hub

Location

leiden

Client

Caransa Groep B.V.

Year

2021

Status

concept (plan)

Program

offices and laboratories

Lab & Office Hub

As part of our proposal for the new Laboratories and office building at Archimedesweg 15 in Leiden, we imagined an additional structure that not only expands the existing program but also serves as a vital link within the ecosystem’s biodiversity chain.

Located in the Leeuwenhoek, the heart of the Leiden Bio Science Park, the innovation district of Leiden in the field of Life Sciences & Health, this building is designed to align with the overarching vision of the entire masterplan. From a broader urban perspective, the district has been conceived as a campus characterized by standalone structures, landing in the green, with natural and visual connections in-between volumes. The project is located next to the Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland building, one of the oldest and esteemed institution responsible for managing the Rhineland’s water resources in the Netherlands.. Moreover, it is located on the Poelwetering, a small but historic body of water located at the edge of the campus. This prominent location, together with a visual and pedestrian connection with Plesmanlaan, calls for a careful design approach. Following the masterplan guidelines and inspired by the traditional polder structure with perpendicular ditches to the main body of water, the new building is positioned parallel to the three volumes of Archimedesweg 15 and follows a similar scale in the spacing of the volumes, to achieve visual cohesion.

Being positioned in an important traffic knot between the Archimedesweg and the Plesmanlaan, the building is designed to be omnilateral and looks also to the west, in the direction of pedestrian bridge that links the two road arteries. The building being a focal point in the circulation of the area is further underlined by a lively plinth with a lunchroom and a terrace on the water. The landscape (designed by Karres and Brands Landscape Architects) is based on the historical polder structure and creates a unified (semi) public, seamless space for the users.

The remaining program is a mix of Laboratories and offices, with an atrium with a garden is introduced in the office floors, for daylight comfort and the wellbeing of employees. This programmatic division between floors is also reflected in the façade, with the rhythm and size of the openings, to break up the austere exterior aspect of the volume, without any setbacks or cantilevers. With the building being in dialogue with its neighbor, we used a similar a materiality approach, with opaque and clear glass panels. In order to establish the building’s own distinct character, while simultaneously acknowledging its significance within the delicate polder biosphere, we introduced a green façade system that follows a similar rhythm to the one set in place by the program. The result is continuous stripes of foliage that act as conduits for biodiversity, effectively uniting the façade with the landscape.

Nature inclusivity was seamlessly woven into the project’s fabric, with every design aspect of the project conceived with the relation of the user with nature. From the terrace on the polder to the vertical green façade, to the atrium garden, this is a building that acts at the connective tissue between the user and nature.

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