MVRDV Reveals “Ecology-First” Master Plan for Health and Technology Campus
MVRDV, the Dutch architectural firm, has announced its latest project: a master plan for a health and technology campus in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The team aims to unite the disconnected buildings of the Campus Noviotech by introducing new constructions in between them while merging the site with the surrounding city.
MVRDV’s approach, “Ecology-First,” focuses on transforming the campus into a landscape that includes nature and connects it with the neighboring Goffertpark and the Jonkerbos war cemetery. The plan retains six of the seven significant pre-existing buildings on the siteallowing for the addition of new buildings in three stages of development, creating an eventual expansion to about three million square feet of rentable space.
A green column, serving as a central route through the campus, connects the site with the Goffert train station to the north and a sports facility currently being built to the south of the campus.
MVRDV’s landscape strategy entails implementing a set of trees, shrubs, and flowers planted in overlapping circular patches, resulting in what the company calls a “million-dot” landscape, creating a multifunctional landscape strategy. The firm worked with Faunest ecological consultants to bring this environment to life.
Under MVRDV’s supervision, the Noviotech campus buildings will follow a variety of sustainability approaches. The firm provides guidelines for reducing carbon footprint, requiring the use of circular or bio-based materials, recommending adaptable structures with a longer lifespan, advising on renewable energy production on-siteand suggesting surrounding vegetation continues on building facades and roofs.
“The master plan is designed to reintroduce these natural principles,” said Winy Maas, MVRDV’s founding partner, who was recently selected as the curator of the upcoming Van Gogh Homeland Biennial.
“We follow the principles of forest gardening and follow the seasons. We are trying to increase knowledge about planting mixes; following the tradition of Mien Ruys and Piet Oudolf, we now enter the phase of hyper-mixes, which aim to intensify and cultivate the complexity of nature in all fronts. My hope is that the Noviotech campus becomes not only part of Nijmegen’s ecological infrastructure, but it also shows the wonder and beauty of this new man-made nature. Vegetation also continues on the facades and roofs of the buildings, extending this mix of greenery horizontally and vertically.”
In conclusion, MVRDV’s ecological-first approach introduces a breath of fresh air to the health and technology campus in Nijmegen, seamlessly integrating it into the surrounding city while providing a multifunctional landscape strategy that promotes sustainability.