cepezed will design a new R&D centre for Danone, the international nutrition company of French origin. The centre will be realized on the Utrecht Science Park and is a development of Danone in cooperation with Rotterdam-based OVG Project Development. It will house a staff of over four hundred people and is fully aimed at research on medical and baby food.
In the new innovation centre, Danone will cluster its R&D activities now divided over the Netherlands, Germany and Great-Britain. Thus, the prominent player in the field of dairy products, water, clinical and children’s nutrition seeks to further expand its position in the specialized food market. The Utrecht Science Park is centrally situated and is rapidly developing into a breeding place for scientific research and knowledge-intensive businesses in the field of Life Sciences. Therefore, it is the perfect location for the Danone R&D centre.
The programme includes a pilot plant, laboratories, offices, storage capacity, an information centre, a congress centre, a café and a restaurant. The cepezed-design is fully aimed at the creation of an open, dynamic and inspiring environment with a high degree of comfort and functionality. The building offers substantial spatial variety with long sightlines, so the users can both orientate themselves well in it and enjoy an abundance of in- and external views. The main structure consists of a quadrangular floor plan with two inclined sides in which two large cut-aways function as atria. Thus, the building has three main naves. A gallery with overhead bridges crossing the atria are part of the logistic routes on the different floors.
Next to long sightlines and a variegated experience, the spatial setup guarantees a divers and efficient use of space. The rooms can all be flexibly arranged and the different departments can all create their own atmosphere and identity. A so-called ‘plaza’ extends over the larger part of the second floor and also encompasses the floor fields of both atria. On different locations and heights in the building, balconies function as an extension of the plaza. The plinth has a double height and is fully transparent, thus constituting an inviting effect and simultaneously showing the inside activities. Above the plinth, the building is horizontally articulated with an alternation of dark façade elements and high, frameless strips of glass. In accordance with cepezed-traditions, the design is fully based on a strongly rational grid and will be fully realized by means of prefabricated construction elements.