Construction begins on MVRDV’s sustainable office and laboratory complex Matrix 1

Matrix 1

Work has begun on Matrix 1, a six-storey office and laboratory complex in the heart of Amsterdam Science Park with a striking open staircase as a connecting element. The project is targeting BREAAM-Excellent certification; the building will be virtually energy neutral and uses demountable construction techniques, meaning it can be disassembled at the end of its lifespan to allow 89% of the materials to be reused later. Matrix 1 is expected to be delivered in 2022. MVRDV designed Matrix 1 for the Matrix Innovation Center.

The innovative building fits perfectly in Amsterdam Science Park, a fascinating environment in which scientists and entrepreneurs work on sustainable solutions for current and future problems. In addition to the buildings of UvA’s Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science (FNWI), the campus now offers space for homes, data centres and office and laboratory space, including the six existing buildings of the Matrix Innovation Center.

Laboratories are generally secured areas which remain closed to outsiders. Nevertheless, the Matrix Innovation Center wanted the complex to be a social work environment. MVRDV designed an open building, where employees have more freedom to choose their workplace, thanks to an open staircase that forms the social heart of the building.

The zigzag shape of the stairwell is inspired by the campus path network, and offers various meeting points and spaces for work. Thanks to the glass façade that follows its zigzag shape, the stairwell is also visible from outside, forming a beacon on the site. Sustainability is a common thread in the design. For example, the steel support structure and the concrete floors of the 13,000m2 building are demountable, making building parts easily reusable in the future.

Almost all surfaces of the complex have been used for ecological functions: the roof is green and has solar panels, while birds can nest in the diamond-shaped facade panels. The building will meet the ambitious Amsterdam targets for energy performance (EPC 0.15) and water storage. “Matrix 1 has everything it takes to become a striking landmark that is perfectly integrated into Amsterdam Science Park,” says MVRDV partner Frans de Witte.

“In De Vreis en Verburg Bouw we have found a contractor who can handle this sustainable construction. In the design, all areas are kept flexible: office space can be converted into laboratory space with minor adjustments and vice versa. In addition, the common social area in the stairwell offers excellent opportunities for the people who work there to learn from each other. Because Matrix 1 will house multiple companies and laboratories, it creates a spirit of cross-fertilization and innovation.” Source by MVRDV.

  • Location: Science Park, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Architect: MVRDV
  • Partner: Frans de Witte
  • Design Team: Mick van Gemert, Roy Sieljes, Lesia Topolnyk, Fouad Addou, Aneta Rymsza, Ievgeniia Koval, Giuseppe Carosini, Andrea Manente, Damla Demir
  • Development & Project Management: Stone22
  • Structural Engineering: IMD
  • MEP: Deerns
  • Cost Calculation: IGG
  • Client: Matrix Innovation Centerù
  • Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Luca Piattelli, Cinzia Bussola
  • Size and Programme: 13,000 m2 Offices and Laboratories
  • Year: 2020
  • Images: Courtesy of MVRDV

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