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European Space Innovation Centre (ESIC)

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Noordwijk is best-knownfor the European Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC) locatedthere, which is the largestlocation of the European Space Agency (ESA). In order toretainsupporting operations in the futureandcreate the vitalinfrastructuretheyrequire, the town council has made a start with the development of the Space Business Park near the ESTEC: a business park intendedentirelyforknowledge-intensive companies, particularlythoserelatedtoaviationandspacetechnology. The European Space Innovation Centre (ESIC) is a multi-company building on this site. Sustainability, flexibility, anindustrial image andanabove-averageprice-quality ratio were important parameters for the design. The storeys of the building have a U-shaped floor plan andrecedestepwiseunder a curved roof. A transparentroofed atrium is situated in the heart of the building andjoins up with a terrace outside. It contains shared facilitiessuch as informal meeting spots and a small restaurant andmakesan important contributionto the opportunitiesfor chance meetings andsynergywithin the building. To discourage peoplefromusing the lift, the mainstaircasewith steps of extruded aluminium has been installedinvitingly in a centralposition. A great deal of glass in the façades andinternalwallscontributesto the general sense of spaciousnessandtransparencyandalsoto the interactionbetween the various companies. The design, construction, climate-control and building-performance aspects
are largelyintegrated; to do this, the variousadvisers made intensive use of a three-dimensional Building Information Model (BIM). For the sake of sustainabilityandfficiency, the building has a minimum amount of building services. Ventilation takes placeby means of anoverpressure system integratedinto the steel structure, whichallows air from the various units to overflow into the atrium. Here a heat-exchange pump collects the energy from the air beforeitfindsits way back outside. Concrete coreactivation in the steel-plate-reinforced concrete floorsmaintains a continuouscomfortabletemperature in the building. Otherexamples of integratedsolutions are the rainwater drainage concealedbehind the closed façade stripsandanalternativefiresafety concept where the entire building acts as one large firecompartment. The steel construction of the atrium roof alsofunctions as conductor for the sunshadesthere.

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