Recently the opening of the new premises of biotech company Genmab took place at the Science Park Utrecht. The new head office of Genmab, which has branches in Copenhagen and Princeton – New Jersey, is an integral design of Cepezed and Cepezed interior. The new building has been designed on the basis of an open work culture and intensive interaction, also with external parties. With a high sustainability score and ample daylighting, the new building offers a comfortable, healthy and inspiring (work) environment for employees and visitors.
Genmab is a internationally operating biotech company that develops therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer. Over the last years, the company has grown substantially, leading to the need for new premises. Its Scandinavian origins called for a special focus on design. In addition, the new-build has been seized as an opportunity to give the firm more visibility, to increase interaction between the employees and to collaborate more effectively with external partners. The building was also intended to become a calling card to attract top researchers. Cepezed and Cepezed interior were responsible for the design.
The new Genmab is a striking, cleanly styled and detailed building located directly on the main access road of the Utrecht Science Park. The program comprises offices, laboratories and an extensive range of supporting functions such as a meeting center, auditorium, science café and restaurant. The building has an open structure with large spans and long sight lines. Above ground, it consists of two five-storey bays positioned out of alignment with each other, and an atrium in between. Underground there is a parking garage that takes up the entire footprint.
The building is as compact as possible. The alignment of the two bays contributes to a good fit with the location. The facilities program with the meeting center, auditorium and café, but also a gym, bicycle parking, storage areas and waste rooms, has been mainly housed on the ground floor. The floor slab of the atrium is situated on the first floor and has the character of a plaza. Surrounding this are other supporting functions such as a coffee bar and an open kitchen with front cooking. In the office bay, the meeting spots are situated along the atrium while the fixed workspaces are mainly located along the façades. The upper three storeys accommodate both offices and laboratories. Their gross height is higher, so that the program here can be flexible: offices can become labs and vice versa.
The bay façades are vertically articulated, and here the frames of the glass components are concealed behind the aluminium external finish of the closed elements. The atrium has completely transparent façades, so that the large open space is prominently in view from the outside and makes a significant contribution to how the building appears to the surroundings. Special elements in the atrium are the large islands, more than eight metres in diameter, which are positioned stepwise and seem to float freely in the space. On the islands there are spots for meeting, discussion and flexible working. One of them functions as a board room and is equipped with hot bent glass walls, a large table with illuminated company logo and a custom-made piece of furniture containing all the climate facilities and the most modern presentation equipment.
The interior is light, uncluttered and stylish, with a great deal of wood and other natural materials used. Corridors are optically widened by allowing their floor finish to continue into the transparent office spaces. In terms of sustainability, the new Genmab has the BREEAM Excellent certificate.
[Text description provided by the architects]