MVRDV has revealed the masterplan for the expansion of the Noviotech Campus in Nijmegen, in the east of the Netherlands.
Named Noviotech Campus, the 150,000-square-metre campus unifies the currently disjointed campus buildings and adds new buildings in the empty spaces between them, all while stitching the site into the surrounding city with an ecology-first approach.
MVRDV’s masterplan is shaped through a more and ecological principles, in which the landscape strategy is based on a “hyper-mix” of trees, shrubs, and flowers planted in overlapping circular patches.
Developed for a Noviotech Campus BV – focusing on a high-tech innovation, MVRDV’s masterplan doubles the leasable space, while the plan will make the campus more attractive.
The campus will serve established companies and start-ups and will solidify Nijmegen’s reputation as a hub for technology and health innovation. According to the studio, enlarging the campus will take 10 to 12 years.
The studio stated that in the coming months, Noviotech Campus and MVRDV will work together with the municipality of Nijmegen, Kadans Science Partner and NXP Semiconductors to elaborate and detail the master plan.
The expansion of Noviotech Campus will be built in the southwest of Nijmegen, where the site emerged on the production site of microchip manufacturer NXP.
As the studio explained, successive companies spun off from the parent and began to congregate in the buildings on the east of the campus.
“With the only greenery in the current Noviotech Campus being found in the form of broad grass lawns and a handful of small trees, the area stands in stark contrast to the neighbouring Goffertpark, one of the largest parks in Nijmegen,” said MVRDV.
“With this upgrade, Noviotech Campus aims to correct this imbalance.”
MVRDV’s masterplan scheme links to the city’s own biodiversity strategy, turning the campus into a nature-inclusive landscape that connects the Goffertpark and adjacent Jonkerbos to designated green corridors nearby, including with green roofs and façades on the buildings of the campus.
The masterplan will maintain the existing buildings as a base, preserving six of the seven large buildings currently on the site – including one that will be renovated – and incorporating them into the future campus design.
With this approach, the studio aims to reduce the amount of carbon that will be released in constructing the campus expansion.
The masterplan, planned to be completed in three phases, incorporates new buildings based on the existing buildings’ grid layout. This, eventually, increases the campus to a total of 300,000 square metres of leasable area.
“Through the centre of this grid, connecting the Goffert train station in the north to a zone of sports facilities that will soon be built south of the campus, is a green spine that serves as the central route through the campus,” the studio explained.
“With a meandering path that connects the various building entrances and amenities this space will be a pleasant place to take a break for both workers in the Noviotech Campus and pedestrians passing through.”
Plan closer view
“A landscape of a million dots”
A new landscape strategy is aimed to unify the campus, which incorporates a “hyper-mix” of trees, shrubs, and flowers planted in overlapping circular patches.
According to MVRDV, this will create a “landscape of a million dots”, and it “will not only give the campus a recognisable and unifying identity, but also will provide a new mixed landscape strategy that brings together various functions.”
To achieve this, MVRDV worked with ecological advisors Faunest to ensure this dotted landscape lives up to its expectations as a nature hotspot, developing a strategy based on five “ambassador species” that are chosen to represent all aspects of a healthy environment.
In this way, the campus becomes a powerful biotope in which everything works together – from berries to flowers, from leaves to branches, from small plants to large.
“The masterplan is designed to reintroduce these natural principles,” said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas.
“We follow the principles of forest gardening, and follow the seasons. We are trying to increase knowledge of planting mixtures; In the tradition of Mien Ruys and Piet Oudolf, we are now entering the phase of hyper-mixtures that aim to intensify and cultivate the complexity of nature on all fronts.”
“My hope is that the Noviotech Campus will not only become part of Nijmegen’s ecological infrastructure, but that it will in itself show the wonder and beauty of this new ‘man-made’ nature.
“The greenery also continues on the building façades and roofs, extending this blend of nature vertically as well as horizontally,” Maas added.
“I worked with MVRDV together on the masterplan for Floriade 2022,” said Bert Krikke, director of the Noviotech Campus, “and even then, I was very impressed by their sustainability ambitions and the way Winy Maas and the team designed a green grid as the basis for a new residential district for Almere, the youngest city in the Netherlands.
“Thanks to MVRDV’s masterplan, the floor area of the campus will double in ten years, while at the same time greening the campus.”
The buildings on the campus will be designed under MVRDV’s supervision and with its architectural guidelines the masterplan ensures the continuation of its sustainable and eco-friendly approach.
The individual buildings will be built according to carbon footprint guidelines and will be made of circular or bio-based materials, proposing adaptable and future-proof structures.
Thanks to this approach, they will have long lifespans, focus on renewable energy production on-site, and ensure that the greenery of the surroundings will continue onto the buildings’ façades and roofs.
“With this unified strategy for architecture and landscape, the future Noviotech Campus will be a place that connects humans, buildings, and nature,” the studio added.
MVRDV recently won a competition to design the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai) in Heilbronn, Germany. The firm completed a wholesale market with undulating, landscaped and publicly accessible roof in Tainan, Taiwan.
Project name: Noviotech Campus
Location: Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Client: Noviotech Campus BV
Size and Programme: 150,000 m2 campus masterplan
Founding Partner in charge: Winy Maas
Director: Enno Zuidema
Design Team: Nils Christa, livier Sobels, Nikos Margaritis, Petar Kukec, Lucio Fiorentino, Ruben Epping
MVRDV Climate: Kristina Knauf, Alicia van der Stighelen
Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Luana La Martina, Lorenzo d’Alessandro
Strategy and Development: Elija Kozak, Sarah Paardekooper
Ecological Advisor: Faunest
All images & drawings © MVRDV.
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