O|2 Lab Building

 banner O2

Statuswork in progress: expected to be topped out end of 2013
Completion dateend 2015
ArchitectEGM architecten
AddressThe O|2 lab building is located next to the ACTA building (Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004)

O|2 stands for oxygen and is therefore a symbol of life. The O|2 lab building is located next to the Faculty of Dentistry’s ACTA building on De Boelelaan. Construction began in 2013 and the building is due for completion in 2015.

The O|2 building is one of the first university buildings in the Netherlands built to accommodate a specific research theme. In the O|2 Building researchers from VU Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center and the University of Amsterdam will jointly tackle socially relevant issues in the field of Human Health & Life Sciences in a state-of-the-art shared research environment. This will result in a mix of fundamental and applied scientific-medical research conducted by chemists, molecular biologists, analysts, biophysicists and bioinformaticians from the two universities and preclinical researchers from VUmc.

Interfaculty collaboration and meetings
In total the building will be able to accommodate approximately 700-750 employees (based on FTE). Creating shared space for comparable research generates opportunities to strengthen the research profile and to improve research infrastructure. Cooperation will be fostered by sharing high-end research equipment and the shared use of service labs. The collective use of high-quality research facilities enables and encourages the efficient use of costly research facilities AND knowledge sharing and collaboration.

For example, the building will bring together a large number of biochemical labs and synthesis labs, a radionuclide lab and an MLIII lab (this means it’s a place where you can work with organisms that cause non-fatal diseases )all under one roof. Part of the building is intended as Lab Hotel (Mylab@Ol2-concept): a place where partners or commercial parties for example can rent the use of office and laboratory facilities for a specific time.

The building will also contain teaching laboratories where students can experience what it’s like to work as a researcher.

The new building has been designed to be as sustainable as possible. It will feature ‘future-proof’ laboratories with a high degree of flexibility - the ultimate tool for medical research. Cooling is achieved using water from the nearby Nieuwe Meer lake and other energy needs are met by VU Amsterdam/VUmc Energy Centre. O|2 has a sedum green roof, which absorbs water and provides insulation. The building’s structure lets in plenty of daylight, saving on the cost of artificial lighting.

Design and lay-out
The O|2 tower was designed by EGM architects. The floor space will be about 33,000 square metres. The building is shaped like a large cube, with two cut-outs that provide light. Striking angled columns – steel pipes of between 18 and 20 metres in length – support the construction of the cut-out sections. An atrium at the heart of O|2 channels daylight into all areas of the building. The ground floor will function as an urban plaza with restaurants, an information centre, a conference hall, meeting rooms and a bicycle parking area. A parking garage has already been constructed beneath the building.