Nuon Energy Lab

Location

Amsterdam

Client

LSI Project Investment nv, Rotterdam

Year

2011 (plan)

Status

Plan

Program

Offices, Education

Nuon Energy Lab

Since 2005, an entirely new urban district known as Overhoeks has been under development on the former Shell site across the IJ. A visually dominant feature is the Overhoeks Tower (1971) which is flanked on it southwest side by three robust rectangular volumes clad in red brick and connected by stairwells. Designed in the nineteen-thirties, these buildings accommodated Shell’s Grootlab (Large Laboratory) for many years and have since been awarded industrial heritage status.

According to the plan for accommodating the offices of energy company Nuon, this ensemble of interconnected buildings will have a fourth building added to form a complex of buildings surrounding a spacious atrium. The choice of materials for the newly constructed, five-storey building will correspond closely to the existing volumes. At the same time, its structure, greater transparency and contemporary look will distinguish it from the others.

The four elements in the complex are unified by means of a large glass overhead construction that transforms the spacious inner area into light-filled atrium. This glass construction extends from the taller five-storey roof over the existing buildings to create a completely transparent storey there. It is supported by a tree-like structure made of slender columns with branches that make it appear to float. A new entrance on the northwest side will provide access to the atrium. The entrance’s entirely glazed façade is set somewhat in back of the glass overhead construction. This creates a large sheltered area covered by a simple canopy. The interior façades of the existing volumes are opened toward the central open space.

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