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Van Leeuwenhoek Laboratory by DHV Architecten

Eindhoven studio DHV Architecten have completed a laboratory for nanotechnology in Delft, the Netherlands.

Called Van Leeuwenhoek Laboratory, the building centres around an atrium where meetings can take place.

Above photo is by Koos Rensen

The laboratory operates 24 hours a day and corridors lining the facade make scientists visible from outside the campus.

Photographs are by Rene de Wit unless stated otherwise.

The information below is from the architects:


Van Leeuwenhoek Laboratory. It’s an advanced research facility for nanotechnology. It is unique in being the only laboratory where a national research organization and a leading technology university join forces to create the extraordinary.

This state-of-the-art facility is the result of decades of pioneering research by TNO and TU Delft.

Whether it is science, education, R&D or business opportunities: Delft is at the heart of nanotechnology innovations worldwide.

Industrial buildings are characterized by a pragmatic and process-driven configuration.

Unlike schools, theaters and libraries it’s not the user-experience but the industrial process which is leading.

Form follows function.

Progressive and very complex research places extremely high demands on the building.

The underlying principle of the architectonic design was to once again place humans in a central position.

The focus thus lies on communication between the building’s users, but also on (visual) communication with the outside world – the atrium plays an important role in this.

It forms an interface between the clean rooms (machine) and users. The atrium is suitable for meetings and stimulates an exchange of knowledge.

Because the building is occupied around the clock, at night it acts as a beacon for its surroundings.

The main corridors adjoin the outer facades in such a way that the scientists become visible from the campus and the daylight and heat load of the cleanrooms can be regulated more efficiently.

The colored perforations in the building’s façade provide insight into the technology of the future, from within the building they serve as guiding points for the technical staff.

Client: TNO Finance & Real Estate
Location: Delft – The Netherlands
Project scope: 9300 m2 GFA
Design to completion: 2004 – 2009

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