uniQure Amsterdam

from bankbuilding to healing office

Last week, uniQure moved to their new headquarters at the Paasheuvelweg 25A, in Amsterdam. A large part of the former Royal Bank of Scotland building was transformed into a remarkable office with laboratories and cleanrooms. This relocation represents a new step for uniQure, global leader in gene therapy development. D/DOCK is responsible for the design and design management.

Creating a healthy and human working environment was central in the redevelopment, which is why uniQure decided to apply the Healing Offices ® concept in their new building. In this concept, the focus is on wellbeing and health of the employee by using ten essential pillars, including ownership, connectedness, relaxation and exercise.

After a feasibility phase to consider new or existing construction, D/DOCK was able to convince uniQure to relocate to the Paasheuvelweg 25 in Amsterdam. In doing so, uniQure chose to prepare an existing vacant office building for their future work and laboratory spaces. In good consultation with the building owner, the atrium, the interior and the installation were given smart upgrades, making them perfectly in line with the needs of today’s users.
“We have created an environment that responds to the psychological spatial needs of the employees in a spectrum of privacy versus interaction. A sense of security, but with overview and without losing connection to a team. This translates into a work area built with grand architectural gestures, creating the hierarchy that is reflected in dark surfaces and large, light spaces”, Jochem Straatman, Senior Interior Architect at D/DOCK explains.

From here, one can always choose to head to interactive and dynamic areas in the BaseQamps, a number of open-ended balconies located in a large atrium. These balconies are connected through the DNA Stairs; sculptural white stairs with a dynamic shape that brings the daylight and the plant wall to life and invites employees to discover the BaseQamps. Here, the diversity in activities has been translated into a number of metaphoric areas, such as the theatre, Qampfire Island, the Kinetic Lounge, the Library, the Winter garden and the uniQlub. By playing with ambiances from other worlds, a different use, social interaction and the creation of new rituals is stimulated, which contributes to a sense of connectedness, allowing people to bring their personal lifestyle to the office.

The workstations have been designed with serendipity in mind: increasing the chance of (coincidental) encounters. Thanks to an elaborate plan, there is a lot of light, space and transparency, without compromising the necessary comfort of privacy and peace. These elements allow employees and visitors to experience the ultimate uniQure sensation: human, progressive and ambitious. The true eyecatcher in the new atrium is the open and green Winter garden. “In an organization such as uniQure, it is crucial to create an environment in which collaboration, health, energy, price and future vision play a central role. In the uniQure homebase at the Paasheuvelweg, all these elements come together”, says Coen van Dijck, CEO of D/DOCK.

Together with the Amsterdam Health Tech Institute, housed in the building as well, this relocation is the next step in the desire of the city to put Amsterdam on the map as Health Innovation Capital. D/DOCK carried out this project in collaboration with construction partners Unica, Intos, IL Project, van der Vorm Engineering, Hiensch Engineering, and of course, uniQure.

"In order to create a project like uniQure, within budget, time and quality, you have only one choice and that is creating a project team with parties that are not only familiar with uniQure but also with each other, which allows for an extremely short lead time to finish the project. The collaboration on architectural, installation, engineering and design level of an office, laboratory and cleanroom is and remains a challenge. But if that also succeeds within twelve months, from design to completion, we are proud of the end result and we very much appreciate the team of D/DOCK, iL Project, Unica and INTOS. Thank you!", excludes David Spanjaart, Manager Engineering & Facilities/Operations at UniQure.

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About D/DOCK

D/DOCK is an Amsterdam based concept and design studio specialized in interior design, project management and consultancy.

Our main drive is the development and realization of spaces, buildings and concepts offering an added value to its users. This added value can be found in smart business solutions, but can also be focused on health, economy or experience.

By thinking not only from a design and conceptual perspective, but also from a project management and consultancy point of view, a design process with maximum control is resulting that accommodates our clients.

We are a group of 35 architects, interior architects, project managers, concept designers, stylists and graphic designers collaborating to realize each project on the highest possible level.