AMSTERDAM – Construction-combination EMA, a collaboration between Dura Vermeer and Heijmans, has realized and delivered the new building of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Amsterdam in accordance with the hard delivery date. Today, Friday 15 November, the Central Government Real Estate Agency has officially accepted the new office of Building combination EMA, which is responsible for the design, realization and maintenance (Design, Build, Maintain) of the new EMA accommodation.
Dura Vermeer, Heijmans and involved partners such as MVSA Architects, OKRA Landschapsarchitecten, Fokkema & Partners Architecten, DGMR, DWA, SDR Elektrotechniek, Van Dorp, Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs are proud of this ‘huge achievement’, which has never been achieved in the Netherlands in this way before.
MVSA Architects has embraced the design principles of Fokke van Dijk of the RVB for a stately residence of the EMA. A high-gloss bronze tint was chosen for the façade on a dark base. The bronze hues are reflected in the interior of the building and blend in beautifully with the oak panelling.
The design has been elaborated fully in 3D by MVSA Architects, together with the design partners in an intensive BIM process. During this process, where design and execution coincided, suppliers were able to get started early with the prefabrication of building elements due to the setup of the BIM process. MVSA Architects is proud of the collaboration and achieved result.
The arrival of EMA from London to Amsterdam is a consequence of the imminent Brexit. EMA is responsible for the quality and safety of new medicines for people and animals that are allowed on the European market. The central government made an important promise to Europe as part of the offer to bring EMA to Amsterdam: on 15 November 2019 there will be a new office with 1300 workplaces. This commitment was an important part of the deal that Building Combination EMA has now realised.
In May 2018, two months after the official contract signature (March 2018), the first pile was driven for the approximately 39,000 m2 building, containing 7 large meeting rooms. In a construction period of eighteen months, where normally this would have taken twice as long, Building combination EMA has delivered an 81-meter high building with 19 floors.
Fast construction time
Construction-combination EMA has put everything in place to ensure a fast construction time. In order, for example, to be able to start the realization of the new building earlier, the preliminary design has been cut into logical components (core, façade and finishing / design). By cutting the building into parts, design phases of different parts blended together. In this way the piles were already able to go into the ground, while the final design was still being worked out in other areas. A number of time-saving choices have also been made, based on proven architectural techniques. For example, a sliding formwork has been used to realize the concrete core. For finishing, installation and construction, prefabricated elements were used it as much as possible. This includes piping, raised floors and wall panels.
The use of slipforming, in particular for the construction of the concrete core was an ideal solution for building at great speed and was one of the highlights in the construction. With the help of slipforming, the concrete core of the office was built in not more than five weeks – from mid-August to mid-September 2018 – at which point the highest point of 81 meters had been reached. Immediately afterwards, the steel construction started, after which the installation of the facade panels could commence in the Spring of 2019. Where technically necessary, Construction-combination EMA was exempted to work outside regular working hours. From the moment a floor was closed, the incorporation started.
Another important success factor for the fast construction time was the team spirit and the sharp focus of those involved (from Construction-combination EMA and partners to suppliers and subcontractors). One goal: meeting the November 15 deadline. The excellent cooperation with the Central Government Real Estate Agency also contributed to the smooth construction, such as the direct processing of feedback from the client on site rather than redoing a design phase. In order to coordinate the wishes of the client and changes to the construction being kept to a minimum, continuous consultation sessions were held between the client and Construction-combination EMA. Both parties worked closely together from day one. The mutual openness and the agreement that the parties would keep each other informed at all times has given great confidence in the cooperation.
The new EMA building, designed by architect Fokke van Dijk of the Central Government Real Estate Agency in collaboration with MVSA Architects and Fokkema & Partners, is a sleek and business-like character. As a counterpart, OKRA Landscape Architects designed a lush landscape ribbon with organic shapes from street level to the top of the building. This wavy shaped ribbon starts at the entrance square, continues through the roof garden, the coffee lounge and makes its way through a 60-meter-high green wall in the atrium to the top of the building. More than 52,000 plants have been incorporated into the indoor green wall and placed in around one hundred steel frames. The EMA office receives a BREEAM Excellent Certificate. For the further fulfilment of the high sustainability ambitions of the Central Government Real Estate Agency, EMA and the municipality of Amsterdam, made use of sustainable materials, district heating, light sensors that switch on and off during movement, individual climate control to optimize energy use, rain-basin of 200 cubic meters and nest & bat boxes.
Construction-combination EMA is proud of this performance and welcomes EMA into their new home.
© Photo: Corné Bastiaansen, Rijksvastgoedbedrijf