Center Court, Geleen
The Brightlands Campus in Geleen is a world-leading centre for pure and applied research in sustainable chemistry geared towards biomedical innovation, circular performance materials and sustainable manufacturing processes. The campus operates as an open and collaborative innovation community for academics and practitioners with common interests. Ector Hoogstad Architects were chosen by Chemelot Campus Real Estate to design the Center Court building, one of the key components of this ecosystem, and delivered a building that supports and encourages openness, collaboration and interaction.
Name Center Court
Client Chemelot Campus Real Estate
Status Completed 2016
Architect Ector Hoogstad Architects
Interior architect Ector Hoogstad Architects
Building contractor BAM Utilities Construction
Building services engineering Cauberg-Huygen
Construction consultant Tielemans Consultants
Construction management Brink Group
Contract administration Brink Management and Advice
Fitters BAM Technics
Structural and fire safety engineering DPA Cauberg-Huygen
Catering facilities Hospitality Design
Photography Petra Appelhof
Center Court, located opposite the historic central research building and set amid the natural beauty of lush grass and leafy trees, is exactly what it was designed to be: inviting, transparent and open. Its spatial qualities create an atmosphere that feels pleasant and is conducive to interaction, whether impromptu or planned, the very basis of collaboration and mutual inspiration.
Center Court offers its permanent occupants — Brightlands, DSM, Maastricht University, Chemelot Ventures and Chemelot Innovation & Learning Labs (CHILL) — as well as users of the surrounding buildings and outside visitors every convenience and comfort they could possibly need by housing a variety of functions under one roof, including meeting rooms of all kinds, a conference facility with an auditorium, catering facilities and an espresso bar, laboratories, lecture rooms, a car park and a sports centre.
The building is comprised of two contrasting and interlocking volumes, symbolising Center Court’s key function: the facilitation of interaction and chance encounters. One volume consists of horizontal layers of various dark, stone-like materials, each with its own texture, recalling the mining history of the area. By contrast, the other volume is articulated vertically in light-coloured metal and glass. To optimize accessibility and the relationship with both the park and the surrounding buildings, entrances are positioned on both ground and first floor. On the latter, spacious terraces create a raised deck that leads to the rest of the campus via a wide, bleacher-like staircase that doubles as a grandstand for outdoor events.
A future-proof building
Center Court consumes little energy (which earned it a “Very Good” BREEAM-NL rating), thanks in part to its 30-metre-deep compact form and the installation of a low-temperature heating system with climate ceilings. Heat build-up behind the glazed southern façade is minimized by the integration of a “Dutch climate façade”, with ventilation between the window blinds and the windows. Recycled or renewable, bio-based materials have been used wherever possible. These include the wood for the ceilings, the bamboo for the terraces and a floor finish of completely recycled materials in the DSM Innovation Centre.
Spacious, bright and timeless, the building is carefully detailed and sustainably realized to ensure a long lifespan. The varied mix of spaces, each with its own atmosphere, allows the building to be used in a highly flexible manner. And last but not least, good daylight penetration, excellent indoor air quality, pleasant acoustics and comfortable room temperatures ensure a healthy and pleasant working environment.