The Research Building on the VU Campus on De Boelelaan is unique for many reasons. It will accommodate advanced research and education facilities in the field of human health and life sciences. And because the scientists working there will need to be able to make very accurate measurements, part of the new building will be vibration-free. The Research Building consists of a high-rise section with twelve floors and a low-rise section with six floors. Only the low-rise section will be vibration-free. The highest point of the high-rise section, at 57 metres, has now been topped out. This was done when a cover plate was placed over an elevator shaft. The glass exterior wall will also be installed soon.
Grout injection piles, diaphragm wall and foundation
The design of the building includes all kinds of features to make sure that the low-rise section is vibration-free. The two sections of the building are actually disconnected from each other. 470 vibration-free piles (known as grout injection piles) have been installed in the ground, down to a depth of 25 metres. On top of this there is a foundation floor of one metre thick. The basement is also weighted using four blocks of solid concrete, each the size of a living room, mounted on thick slabs of rubber. The floor on the ground level is half a metre thick and the reinforcement weighs 250 to 300 kilos per cubic metre. A diaphragm wall – a concrete wall in the ground – has also been created around the building to a depth of 25 metres and one metre thick. This will counteract all environmental vibrations from the busy area around the Research Building. The installations will also be placed in such a way that they do not transmit vibrations.
Vibration-free laser equipment
The Research Building will be the new home for the physics, neuroscience and earth sciences departments, and the research conducted there will focus mainly on these areas. The building will house about 65 vibration-free lasers, a facility for electron microscopy, radioactive labs and a cleanroom. The building will also offer plenty of opportunities for meeting and socializing. A total of around 500 people will work there. Together with the O|2 Lab building and the New University building, this new research building will replace the outdated Mathematics & Physics Building, most of which will be demolished in the near future.
An exciting mix in Kenniskwartier
In collaboration with VU University and the Amsterdam UMC, in the years to come we are going to transform the Zuidas Kenniskwartier into an exciting mixed use area, where a wide range of functions will come together. Around 2,700 homes will be built here in total, in addition to locations for education and the knowledge industry, care, culture, retail and hospitality. The construction of the multifunctional complex The Pulse of Amsterdam began in summer 2021, and a start has recently also been made on the construction of Stepstone, a residential tower with apartments for first-time buyers.
The realization of the VU Research Building is being completed by the construction consortium TBI-ondernemingen, JP van Eesteren and Croonwolter&dros. The building was designed by the architectural firm cepezed. In July, work will start on the next phase of the Research Building. By November, the building will be completely windproof and watertight. It is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.