symbiosis between organisation, technique and landscape
The assignment was to design a biochemical ML-I, an optic laboratory that has maximum flexibility and adaptability and is suitable for everchanging experiment setups. To study how the adaptations can be done effectively and efficiently, without hindering other setups.
The Horstcomplex, which was designed by architecten van Mourik in the 1960’s, has been extended with a laboratory by addition of a satellite volume. The green character of the surroundings is fully respected.
The laboratory has been added to the ring of the Horstcomplex. The existing monumental oak trees have been taken into account in addition to the organisation of the internal structure. This led to the concept of ‘meander’.
Meander has a comb-shaped floorplan that ‘sways’ around the existing trees. With the transparent and translucent facade panels, the facades match the adjacent renovated testing halls. The alcoves have robust wooden window frames to fit the oak trees around which the alcoves are folded. Within the building, laboratories and lab-based offices are placed along the central spine, whereas the general offices can be found in the wings.
The laboratories consist of special modules developed by architecten van Mourik. One module is a base structure with several connection points to the pipes and other supplies. Through the optimal accessibility of pipes in the shafts, through which many gasses and liquids can be accessed, each lab module can be adjusted to a specific experimental setup.
The way in which Meander reacts to its surroundings leads to a special relationship between the surrounding landscape and the sterile environment of a laboratory.