Genmab lab

Workspace-to-laboratory adaptability
  • laboratories
  • utilisation sunlight
    utilisation sunlight
  • Design & Build
    Design & Build

Paul de Ruiter Architects conceived a fitting concept for Genmab’s new research facility. Genmab is a dynamic biotech company that specializes in the creation and development of innovative antibody therapeutics, so we took the company’s dynamism and collaborative culture as the starting point for our design. The facility consists of offices, laboratories, and formal and informal meeting rooms, all of which we arranged to cohere around a connective heart in the form of an atrium.

Genmab 1

Adaptable workspaces

The building comprises seven floors, which accommodate offices and laboratories, formal and informal meeting rooms, and an underground car park. Sharing the ground floor with the reception area is a spacious auditorium. A wide wooden staircase connects this floor with the first, the vast expanse of the staircase allowing it to do double duty as a location for lectures and speeches. Office space is situated on the upper floors, with rooms arranged to hug the perimeter of the building. The rooms are adaptable, allowing them to serve as laboratories (with 4-metre-high ceilings) or be modified with little effort for other purposes. Offices on each floor cohere around social spaces overlooking the atrium.

Genmab Slider 0 0
Genmab Slider 0 1

The atrium as a connective heart

The atrium’s unique shape is the result of a series of 3-dimensional studies that envisioned this space as a connective heart. The space is funnel-shaped, allowing natural light to be filtered from above all the way to the ground floor. Cascading platforms jut out from each floor, and are arranged out of alignment to allow visibility to the floors below. A circular staircase runs from the first floor to the fifth, facilitating the dynamism and interchange of ideas that characterise the company. Every other floor boasts a lounge and coffee bar, inspiring relaxation and the exchange of knowledge.

Genmab 2

Transparency and natural light

The glass facade imbues the building with qualities of lightness and transparency. Vertical slats in the facade protect the building from the thermal effects of direct sunlight without hindering the admission of daylight. This is achieved via the curvature of the slats, which allows them to reflect sunlight so as to cause an indirect admission of light. This consideration for the properties of sunlight extends to the atrium roof, which only lets in north light, thereby facilitating the optimal entrance of natural light in diffused form, and hence without the burden of additional heat from the sun. The extensive use of wood in the atrium, the sheer size of the space and the transparency of the façade make the building and atrium immensely striking to behold from external vantage points. Glass is employed more subtly in the offices, to ensure privacy and provide for a pleasant working environment.

Project details


Total floor area 11.250 m²
Start design July 2014
Location Utrecht
Program Multifunctional building: offices, laboratory, meeting spaces, meeting room and restaurant

Project Team

Client Genmab
Design Paul de Ruiter Architects bv
Project Architect Paul de Ruiter en Noud Paes