The new laboratory and offices for the Japanese firm Astellas houses both offices and laboratories. Essential to the design of the building is the creation of a pleasant, open and transparent working environment for Astellas employees, in addition to an agreeable and welcoming gesture to their international visitors. The organisation and materialisation of the building ensures clear views from each of the three areas within the main frame. Glass facades are employed to provide sufficient daylight, whilst also creating open visual communication throughout the structure.
The building frame integrates into one gesture three sections of varying heights, which together encircle an inner courtyard garden. Covering six floors on the west side of the building are the office spaces. A restaurant with a roof terrace is located on the lower floor of this area. The Eastern section of the building houses four floors of laboratories. The floor to ceiling glass facades and large skylights of the expansive, 3.7 meter high lobby area provide visual links to both the inner garden and the surrounding street life. Direct access to the inner garden, which is based on traditional enclosed Japanese gardens, is possible from all three sections of the building.
The floor plans in the interior are flexible and based on the campus concept, where emphasis is placed on communication. Glass and aluminium are the main materials used in the facade of the Astellas building in order to provide a lightweight structure which requires less material usage in its foundations. Lamellas are incorporated on each level of the façade in order to deflect direct sunlight whilst colour is introduced into the facade by means of a vertical variation in the four contrasting tones of the Japanese Manga animation films.
UNStudio Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Erwin Horstmanshof and Jörg Petri, Nanang Santoso, Sander Schuur, Ramon van der Heijden, Rikjan Scholten, Filippo Lodi, Imola Berczi, Peter Irmscher, Patrik Noome