Interior Research Diagnostisch Centrum VUmc (VU University medical centre)

Sustainable and flexible

workspaces versus green lungs

Interior Research Diagnostisch Centrum VUmc (VU University medical centre)

Atelier PRO made the design for the new building of the Research Diagnostics Center that is part of the Amsterdam UMC. The building with offices and laboratories on the Van der Boechorststraat, is approximately 28,100 m² and is part of a larger, future expansion on the south side of the existing VUmc complex on the Boelelaan in Amsterdam. The building is flexible in design as a future-proof housing for the so-called 'Adore' project. ADORE stands for Amsterdam Oncology and Neuroscience Research and encompasses a new way of medical-scientific research in which the use of the synergies between oncological and neuroscientific research is central.

In atelier PRO‘s design, the combination of a healing environment, sustainability and flexibility has strongly been emphasised. The building contains two atriums that function as ‘green lungs’: these are tempered outdoor climate zones with indoor gardens, surrounded by clusters of workplaces. The work locations, bordering these green lungs, can be ventilated in a natural way for a longer period of the year: the windows can be opened to let in this tempered outdoor air that is passively warmed by the sun. Up to deep inside the building, the green lung provides light, air and space, and creates a pleasant ambiance for the work locations and the staff rooms.

The discrepancy between a sustainable design and the wish to create a universal architectonical expression, has been used by atelier PRO in this design to develop an extraordinary facade. This self-shading facade consists of a succession of vertical segments made out of ceramic panels with a special fine dust absorbing titanium-oxide surcharge. The window frames are anodized in a light bronze tone and are slightly canted between the segments, depending on their positioning in the facade. Due to this, a classical play between light and shadow and between transparency and closeness is created, in an accumulation of identical elements.

BREEAM is used to check the sustainability of the design. The project has the certificate 'Very good'.



  • The cube
  • MDO space
  • Coupes
  • Green lung
  • Lab
  • Ground floor
  • Basement
  • Third floor