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Joost Vos, architect and partner at Benthem Crouwel Architects, is responsible for the design of LAB42. The new science building is a journey of discovery, with robotics lab on the ground floor, a drone cage next to the entrance and trees that reach the third floor. These are only a few of the striking wishes that have been incorporated into the building's Provisional Design (PD).

Architect Joost Vos

For Benthem Crouwel Architects, which previously completed work for Amsterdam Central Station and designed the Equinix data centre, a building needs to match the identity of its future residents. 'When we're done, we want employees, students and the professional sector to say: "This is my place, this is where I feel at home"', explains Joost Vos, architect/partner, who is fascinated by technology. 'The dreams and desires of the users make up the foundation of a design: a transparent building in which you can discover something new in various places, with room for both focused concentration and interpersonal encounters.' 


Artist Impression Atrium

Flexible and sustainable

Joost Vos designed a flexible building. 'The building will be like a shelving rack that we can fill with various programme components, which we do in consultation with the client and the users. The design makes it possible to move floors, close off open spaces and move interior walls.' Sustainability and health are integral components. This means, among other things, responsible use and reuse of materials, optimal use of daylight, plenty of plants, natural heating from the sun where possible, a geothermal heat pump to realise energy savings, and the use of smartbuilding.

Inspiring and smart

Benthem Crouwel Architects is depending on the expertise of users to complete the design. 'We want to be pioneering in several areas', says Vos. 'For example, is it possible to 3D print interior walls or awnings using the building's garbage, or to recycle concrete from demolished buildings? We want to contribute to research and demonstrate the possibilities. Another innovation we are considering is an app for efficient use of the building, which can be used to adjust the lighting or regulate the frequency with which the toilets are cleaned.'   


The common theme throughout the design is the room for cooperation and cross-pollination between science (research and teaching) and the professional sector. 'The open Atrium, with plenty of light and lots of green, will be one of the main places for interaction between people. Of course, spaces for study and research have been included as well, in the concentration zones all along the outer wall. The ideas for the design have been presented to the users for assessment, from the office environment to lecture rooms and catering facilities.' Once the provisional design has been made final, it will undergo further elaboration.