Just outside Leuven, on the rapidly expanding Heverlee campus, SVR-ARCHITECTS designed the new interdisciplinary research building Leuven Chem & Tech for the University of Leuven. The contract was awarded following a public design competition. The building was thus a genuine scoop. For the first time, a laboratory houses researchers and engineers together: the pilots of new industry.

Framed and supported by a state-of-the-art research environment, staff from all over the world search here for new solutions and applications for the chemical and bio-industries of the future.

The building was designed as an open husk with a closed kernel: the labs are contained in the kernel, with around them writing spaces, small meeting rooms and individual offices with a more open architecture.

The building houses a variety of disciplines, each with its specific needs and requirements: synthesis labs, reactor labs, and NMR labs as well as a real Pilot Plant!

In addition to the specific expertise required for the laboratory design, particular attention was devoted to safety and sustainability. In order to be able to follow developments in research, the architects opted for a modular grid structure, ensuring flexibility. The whole design encourages communication and connectivity: an essential asset for a place where, not only literally, but also figuratively, there must be chemistry between all the staff.