Henning Larsen has won a competition for the design of a campus building at CERN. Designed in collaboration with local architects Brière Architectes, the timber building and landscape are designed to be “immersed in nature, with biogenic materials and low-carbon design prioritized to generate community, collaboration, and wellbeing.”
Located on CERN’s Prévessin Campus on the French side of the France-Switzerland border, the proposed B777 building comprises a circular design with a sheltered courtyard in the center. Inside, the building will contain office, laboratory, and workshop spaces.
The interior features a quadruple-height public atrium containing informal working and lounge areas and connecting bridges. Across the building, various community zones will contain dedicated outdoor spaces and lounge areas, while workspaces will have a “tactile and natural feel,” according to the design team.
The scheme’s central courtyard has been designed with inspiration from the protected plazas of nearby Alpine villages, with the goal of creating a social hub that serves as an extension of the office and indoor activities. In addition to connecting lab zones to informal meeting areas, the courtyard also connects the workplaces to a restaurant containing outdoor seating and a kitchen garden.
“’Infranature,’ as we term it, encapsulates our approach to blending the infrastructural needs of the scientific research campus with the intrinsic benefits of working near to nature, resonating with the rural and natural qualities of our 'nature' campus identity,” said Mikkel Eskildsen, Associate Design Director, Henning Larsen, about the design approach.
The complex is expected to be completed in 2027. News of the project comes months after Henning Larsen was selected as the winner of a competition to transform Prague Central Station. In October, meanwhile, the firm unveiled its design for Europe’s largest mass timber logistics center for Bestseller in the Netherlands.
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