Transparent design and strategic location
The building’s transparent design and its strategic location on the university campus ensure optimum interaction between Unilever and various relevant external parties. Knowledge-sharing is built into the design. Researchers and students from Wageningen University (WUR), start-ups, knowledge centres and consumers will be able to meet here and work together in a sustainable manner on innovations in the food industry.
From mini factory to test kitchen
The Global Foods Innovation Centre consists of a Pilot Plant, a Food & Customer Experience area, and two floors of offices and laboratories. The Pilot Plant will be a mini factory for the small-scale production of new products. This mini factory will link directly to the Food & Customer Experience area, where test kitchens will be home to daily experimentation with innovative ingredients for the development of new products. Employees, experts, students and consumers can try the new products and share their views here or in the concept store. A light-filled atrium with a skylight and a wide wooden staircase will connect Unilever's offices and laboratories with the public area on the ground floor. The perimeter of the entire facility will continue underground, where it will become the boundary of a vast car park for use by employees of both Unilever and Wageningen University.
Unilever's Global Foods Innovation Centre aims to comply with the highest BREEAM standards as well as the principles of the circular economy. The various innovations incorporated into its design and the intelligently planned layout both promote movement and interaction, thus allowing the centre to contribute to the health and well-being of its users.
Paul de Ruiter, of Paul de Ruiter Architects: “Sustainability, aesthetic considerations and human values such as health and happiness are the cornerstones of our working principles, a philosophy we share with Unilever. Unilever’s Global Foods Innovation Centre is a perfect illustration of what sustainable architecture actually means in practice.”