Inbev Technical Centre Leuven
newly built laboratories & offices
The microbiology and chemistry laboratory of AB Inbev is situated directly opposite the new headquarters of the multinational corporation. The building is the brewery’s knowledge centre, the ‘shrine’ where the yeast strains from countless world-famous beers are developed, stored, and refined.
ORIENTED TOWARDS THE ELLIPSE
The decision to opt for a quasi-elliptic floor plan was inspired by the fact that there was no definitive master plan yet for the new residential area on the disused brewery grounds.
"An ellipse has neither front nor back, does not induce a direction, and accommodates a significant degree of freedom for future urban development." – Mauro Poponcini, founding partner POLO Architects
Public spaces, squares and buildings can be oriented towards the ellipse, without being predefined by any distinctive wall.
REVERSAL OF THE CLASSIC CONFIGURATION
The labs and offices for data analysis and reporting occupy the first and second floors. They are clustered loosely around the core of the building, which houses the technical circulation. Primary circulation takes place in the ‘leftover’ space along the outer walls of the building. This area also accommodates conference rooms and more informal meeting rooms.
Thanks to the reversal of the classic configuration – in which cells are situated around a central corridor – the labs and offices have maximum flexibility. They are interchangeable and can grow, shrink or merge depending on changing needs. Moreover, it adds to the user’s experience of the space. Rather than moving through a dark hallway, the researchers can enjoy views of the city and the new district.
photography: Filip Dujardin - Toon Grobet
Joanna Maria Artoisplein, Leuven