Research lab puts sustainability under the microscope
High-profile Dutch firm MVRDV has been commissioned to design a new office and laboratory in Amsterdam named Matrix 1. The building will boast significant sustainable features, including solar power and a partially green roof.
Matrix 1 will be located in the Amsterdam Science Park development and will measure 13,000 sq m (roughly 140,000 sq ft). The University of Amsterdam will be a major tenant and take up about a quarter of the floorspace with a specialist facility dedicated to research on lowering CO2 levels and related ideas.
The rectangular building will feature a mostly glazed facade and its interior will be defined by a large zigzagging staircase inspired by a network of paths on the surrounding campus. This will also have seating areas installed and the idea is that it will help link the office areas for tech workers and the scientists and offer a shared social space.
"The spacious stairwell forms the social heart of the building and is fully visible to the outside world thanks to the glass facade," says MVRDV. "It provides a balance in the building between the standardized laboratories and a playful, people-oriented architecture – an important consideration in a building where tech workers, who have high expectations for the quality of their office spaces, will share with science workers, for whom laboratories are unable to provide the same perks. Matrix 1's stairwell will thus allow scientific workers to feel pampered in the same way that has become normal in the tech sector."
Though it's still early days yet, the sustainable design planned for Matrix 1 is noteworthy. The project is slated for BREEAM Excellent certification (a green building standard) and will include solar panels on the roof to reduce its grid-based electricity needs, a partially green roof, and the efficient use of water. It's a good bet that the glazed facade will be made of energy-efficient glass too.
Additionally, MVRDV says that the steel structure and concrete floors of the six-story building are designed so that they can be relatively easily dismantled and the components reused on another future project, if required.
Construction on Matrix 1 is due to start in 2020 and it's expected to open in early 2022.