Noordwijk is best-known for the European Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC) located there, which is the largest location of the European Space Agency (ESA). In order to retain supporting operations in the future and create the vital infrastructure they require, the town council has made a start with the development of the Space Business Park near the ESTEC: a business park intended entirely for knowledge-intensive companies, particularly those related to aviation and space technology. The European Space Innovation Centre (ESIC) is a multi-company building on this site. Sustainability, flexibility, an industrial image and an above-average price-quality ratio were important parameters for the design. The storeys of the building have a U-shaped floor plan and recede stepwise under a curved roof. A transparent roofed atrium is situated in the heart of the building and joins up with a terrace outside. It contains shared facilities such as informal meeting spots and a small restaurant and makes an important contribution to the opportunities for chance meetings and synergy within the building. To discourage people from using the lift, the main staircase with steps of extruded aluminium has been installed invitingly in a central position. A great deal of glass in the façades and internal walls contributes to the general sense of spaciousness and transparency and also to the interaction between the various companies. The design, construction, climate-control and building-performance aspects are largely integrated; to do this, the various advisers made intensive use of a three-dimensional Building Information Model (BIM). For the sake of sustainability and fficiency, the building has a minimum amount of building services. Ventilation takes place by means of an overpressure system integrated into the steel structure, which allows air from the various units to overflow into the atrium. Here a heat-exchange pump collects the energy from the air before it finds its way back outside. Concrete core activation in the steel-plate-reinforced concrete floors maintains a continuous comfortable temperature in the building. Other examples of integrated solutions are the rainwater drainage concealed behind the closed façade strips and an alternative fire safety concept where the entire building acts as one large fire compartment. The steel construction of the atrium roof also functions as conductor for the sun shades there.
noordwijk / the netherlands