Bio-accelerator, Ghent

 

When the first stone for the Bio-Accelerator in Ghent was laid on 4 March 2008, the then Minister for Economy, Enterprise, Science, Innovation and Foreign Trade Patricia Ceysens emphasised the importance of research and technology for the future of Flanders as a European top region. The foundation of the Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB) in 1994 was an important step in the ambition of the Flemish government to actively promote the biotechnology sector. The expansion of the VIB site in Ghent is significant for the growth that biotechnology is still experiencing in Flanders.

 

A very special working method was used for this specific program. A DBFM (Design-Build-Finance-Maintain) procedure was followed. This led to an enthusiastic collaboration between a team of investors (Vlaamse Investeringsmaatschappij (Flemish investment company), B.S.I. and Foremost Immo) and executors (SumProject, Denys and IPES), led by the project manager A-Res.

The Bio-Accelerator building complex is part of the master plan for the Zwijnaarde technology park near Ghent. The master plan strives for a more compact area alternating with green strips. The Bio-Accelerator includes 20,000m² of office and laboratory space for biotechnological research.

 

Very low percentage of glazed surfaces in the outer walls, required for this type of laboratories, obliged us to design a very massive building. It was explicitly decided not to split this mass up, but rather to reinforce it as a whole. To visually unite the different wings of the building and to give them leaner, slender look, the outer façades were visually detached from the ground and covered with expanded metal panels of various pattern and opacity. The V-shaped open space between two wings brings along a variety of perspectives and experiences of inside/outside space. Thereby the Bio-Accelerator was given a unique identity, clearly recognisable from the nearby motorway.

 

Client: Bioversneller nv (DG infra+, BSI, Foremost Immo)

Concept: SumProject

In collaboration with: Ingenium nv (HVAC), A-Res (project management), Dirk Vandekerkhove (landscape)

 

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