Paul de Ruiter

Mercator Technology & Science Park

flexible laboratory

Flexibele lab en kantoorruimte 1
Flexibele lab en kantoorruimte 2
Flexibele lab en kantoorruimte 3 crop
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Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the first two phases of the Mercator Technology & Science Park in Nijmegen. The Science Park aims to strengthen the regional economic structure and to retain and attract high-quality employment by means of knowledge transfer from the Radboud University to the business community. The park presents itself as a place of synergy between the interests of the region, the university, and the business community. Mercator I was designed as a business center for research & development in the medical and chemical field and therefore contains both office space and laboratories. The starting point for the design was the realization of a clear and transparent building with a high-tech appearance that expresses a strong environmental awareness.


Flexible rental combinations

The design of Mercator I offers maximum flexibility in terms of rentability. Companies that need office space with related laboratory activities can rent spaces of both types on one floor. Because the laboratory units are stacked synchronously with the office units, combination renting is possible. This setup makes it possible to offer relatively small units without sacrificing individual identity and representation. On the other hand, the separation of laboratories and offices creates the possibility of making numerous other affordable rental combinations.

The specific construction of the Mercator climate façade creates a subtle incidence of light and a pleasant, calm, and healthy working climate.

Mercator climate facade

With transparency and (technological) knowledge exchange as starting points, a glass facade was the objective for Mercator I: openness and plenty of light, air, and a view for its users. Since there was no budget for a traditional climate facade for this building, Paul de Ruiter Architects developed the 'Mercator climate facade'. The Mercator climate wall is composed of an outer sheet of insulated glass from floor to ceiling and an inner sheet of retractable solar control fabric. When the fabric is lowered, an air cavity is created in which the air from the offices is extracted via a central ventilation system. The heat is reused to heat the building and the extracted air is reused in the extraction of the laboratories.

Orientation towards the sun

In the design of Mercator II, three types of facades can be distinguished, which were specifically developed with a view to the orientation towards the sun. To minimize cooling in the building, the south façade is largely closed. The east and west façades are 50% open and have windows fitted with aluminum slats as permanent sunshades. The cool north façade is made entirely of glass and offers maximum views of the surrounding park. The facades prevent additional solar heat gain while allowing sufficient daylight to enter and enhance the working atmosphere.

Environmentally conscious and future-proof

In the design of Mercator I and II, energy efficiency and the architectural character of both buildings have been strongly considered. Thanks to its fully glazed climate facade, Mercator I is a clear and transparent building, which has the required technological image and makes a positive contribution to the working atmosphere and energy management. Thanks to its flexible layout, the building offers many possibilities for the future, without compromising its identity.

Project details


Naam en plaats Mercator I - Laboratorium, Nijmegen
Adres Toernooiveld, Campus Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Bruto vloeroppervlak 1.990 m² laboratoria
Programma Energiezuinig bedrijfsverzamelgebouw met verhuurbare kantoor en laboratorium ruimte voor de medisch-chemische bedrijven
Start ontwerp Juli 1994
Start bouw November 1996
Oplevering Januari 1998


Opdrachtgever Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen
Ontwerp Paul de Ruiter Architects
Project architect Paul de Ruiter
Project team Hans Snoek, Mathilde Joosse, Koen van Domburg, Arlette van Poppel, Jan Andre Hoogland
Directievoering Van Kessel & Janssen bv
Adviseur constructie Bouwtechnisch adviesbureau J.L. Croes bv
Adviseur installaties Raadgevend Technies adviesburo Van Heugten bv
Adviseur bouwfysica Professor Pierre Leijendeckers, TU Eindhoven
Stedenbouwkundige Ashok Bhalotra, Kuiper Compagnons
Aannemer Giesbers Bouw bv
Fotografie Rien van Rijthoven

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