Up against seven other teams, Henning Larsen have won the international competition to design the French bid for the new European Medicines Agency (EMA) Headquarters, a prestigious European institution currently based in London with approximately 890 employees.
Henning Larsen have won the competition to design the new 30.000 m2 building that will be the official French proposal for the candidacy. The vision is to create a landmark for Lille and a state-of-the-art headquarters for the approximately 890 agents and 3.700 experts working in the EMA, customized for its novel workflows.
“We have designed a modern, highly sustainable workspace for the EMA that promotes health. The building is created to provide all employees with plenty of daylight, recreational outdoor areas with a comfortable microclimate, lots of fresh air and stimulating work environment with a strong focus on vegetation and green areas,” partner and architect Søren Øllgaard from Henning Larsen explains.
“The primary aspect of this design is that we have created a headquarters particularly for the EMA. We are thrilled to be able to deliver a best practice workspace for them that underlines their own profile and mission to promote European Health. This building is designed in symbiosis with modern workspace psychology and with nature,” Øllgaard says.
A ‘Biotope’ for the future
The building is named ‘The Biotope’, connoting a building designed as a natural living space perfectly suited to meet the diverse needs of its users and open to its surrounding environment – stemming from the Greek expression for ‘place of life’.
The building will be located between the Grand Palais and the Regional Headquarters in Lille, and it will include a 300-seat auditorium dedicated to conferences, multiple meeting rooms, work and relaxation areas, and a panoramic restaurant. The expression of the building is conceived as a ripple made of glass, light and vegetation.
The City of Lille and Lille European Metropole look forward to hearing the decision of the EMA. “On this site, at the crossroads of major transport infrastructures of Northern Europe, we have chosen the project which will guarantee the European Medicines Agency an architectural, ultra-functional and fully operational headquarters before March 2019,” states Damien Castelain, the President of Lille European Metropolis.
The French application to host the new EMA Headquarters takes on a concrete expression with our winning design proposal. The decision on the location for the headquarters of the EMA will be decided by common agreement among the representatives of the Member States, expected by early November 2017. Source by Henning Larsen.
- Location: Lille, France
- Lead Architect: Henning Larsen
- Local Architect: KeurK
- Project Team from Henning Larsen: Søren Øllgaard (Partner-In-Charge), Franck Fdida (Lead Design Architect), Chenqi Jia, Anders Thoren, Philip Deeg, Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Nina la Cour Sell, Viggo Haremst
- Client: Bouygues Construction/Linkcity
- Gross Area: 30,000 m2
- Year: 2017
- Images: Courtesy of Henning Larsen
Article by Marco Rinaldi