MVRDV has shared its designs for the Matrix 1, an office and laboratory complex to be located in the heart of Amsterdam Science Park. Engineered to meet BREEAM Excellent certification as well as ambitious Amsterdam targets for energy performance (EPC 0.15) and water retention, the innovative building will also house the University of Amsterdam’s new SustainaLab. This will be a specialist facility for researching technologies and systems to reduce carbon emissions and develop green business models. The 13,000-square-meter building broke ground in early 2020 and is slated to open in the beginning of 2022.

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rendering of people sitting and talking next to a stairwell

Sustainability is a key design driver for the Matrix 1, a six-story structure built of steel and concrete components that can be dismantled for reuse in the future. The roof will be topped with landscaping and solar panels to contribute to biodiversity while harnessing renewable energy. The large expanses of glazing that wrap the building will minimize reliance on artificial lighting.

Related: MVRDV unveils sustainable Chengdu Sky Valley masterplan

rendering of people sitting on benches built into a wide stairwell

As a new addition to Amsterdam Science Park in Amsterdam East, Matrix 1 will build on the campus’ innovative and collaborative character with its open and social design. A spacious, zigzagging staircase — inspired by the campus’ network of paths — will form the social heart of the building and will be viewable from the outside through a curtain wall.

rendering of large metal office building lit up at night

“It provides a balance in the building between the standardized laboratories and a playful, people-oriented architecture — an important consideration in a building where tech workers, who have high expectations for the quality of their office spaces, will share with science workers, for whom laboratories are unable to provide the same perks,” explained the architects of the spacious stairwell, which will double as a meeting place. “Matrix 1’s stairwell will thus allow scientific workers to feel pampered in the same way that has become normal in the tech sector.”


Images by MVRDV