Deltares is a technological institute working on solutions and innovations in the field of water, subsoil and infrastructure. With 800 employees, the institute focuses on river deltas, coastal regions and river areas. In order to improve efficiency, the research facility at Utrecht Science Park will be relocated to the Deltares campus in Delft.
We are designing an extremely flexible laboratory for Deltares that can easily accommodate new functions and different layouts if required. But we’re doing more than that. By thoughtfully connecting the existing and the new, we are creating a unified four-story building, which will be more meaningful and clearly interact with the surrounding Deltares campus.
The new lab consists of a chemical, microbiological and physical lab and will be directly connected to the existing office building. The volume required in the office building for technical installations, stairs and shafts is repeated in the new lab. This repetitive element provides visual connection between the two building sections. And it also means that maximum lab space is available inside.
The new laboratory has a vertical articulation and a wooden façade, whereas the office is horizontally oriented and has a façade of light gray concrete. In a paradoxical way, these contrasts give a sense of unity and cohesion.
The plinth provides a transition from the wooden volume to the ground level and subtly accentuates the entrances. Small (seating) areas and corners create space outdoors for relaxation and greenery and also for functions such as rainwater collection. Around the building will be more vegetation, nesting space for birds and bat boxes.