Designed to be dismantled, MVRDV has completed Matrix ONE, an
office and laboratory with experimental social spaces

Serving as the main hub of the Matrix Innovation Center in Amsterdam Science Park, Matrix ONE is a six-storey, 13,000 sq m building that provides the campus with key social spaces and amenities. In terms of sustainable design, MVRDV says the project pushes the envelope; from demountable construction, the “social stairs”, and solar energy generation to smart lighting and generous amounts of bicycle parking, it incorporates sustainable thinking from every possible angle. Matrix ONE meets ambitious Amsterdam targets for energy use and is certified BREEAM-Excellent.

The building is designed to be demountable. Simple connections such as screws and bolts allow elements to be detached and reused when various parts of the building are updated. Even the building’s floors are made using prefabricated concrete slabs with no fixed connections, allowing them to be reused at the end of the building’s lifespan. The platform Madaster provides a comprehensive material passport system to give insight into the materials and products used and the CO2 storage for over 120,000 individual components. As a result, over 90% of the building’s materials can be reused again later.

On the roof, 1,000 sq m of solar panels generate a portion of the building’s energy, while internet-connected lighting and heating fixtures help to reduce energy consumption (power for critical lab equipment runs on a separate circuit). With this combination of energy generation and reduced energy consumption, the building itself produces a significant proportion of the energy it consumes and therefore meets the ambitious Amsterdam targets for energy performance.

A key element of MVRDV’s design is the large “social staircase” immediately next to the main entrance on the building’s southern corner, which is conceptualised as a continuation of the zig-zagging paths that are found throughout the campus. With tribune-style seating for presentations, tables for informal meetings and coffee stations, these stairs bring together workers from different industries, allowing them to mingle and share ideas. The interior design for this space, developed by MVRDV in collaboration with UP Architecture, includes multiple green walls that are visible through the glass façade, while soft felt finishes elsewhere dramatically reduce sound reverberation.

This social staircase is complemented by the building’s amenities, with a ground floor restaurant and a bar at the top of the staircase. These social features form “Club Matrix”, available for use by workers from all of the surrounding Matrix buildings. The building also includes a 100-seat auditorium, confirming Matrix ONE as a central hub for the creation and sharing of knowledge.

Architect: MVRDV
Contractor: De Vries en Verburg
Project Coordination: Stone 22
Landscape Architect: Karres+Brands;
Gemeente Amsterdam Structural engineer IMD MEP
Interior Architect: MVRDV; UP Architecture
Photography: Daria Scagliola




Michael McDonnell – Managing Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine & Plan Magazine


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