Royal HaskoningDHV provided a full-service approach for the construction of a new laboratory on the BP Refinery Europoort site. The BP Europoort site is a 390-hectare oil processing and transhipment plant, situated at the 6th Petroleumhaven. Together with the BP Pernis site, it is one of the largest refineries in Europe.

Royal HaskoningDHV developed a masterplan for the Europoort site. Three designated areas for occupied buildings were defined, one of which contains the new laboratory.

The laboratory will be used for the analysis and quantification of oil samples and is 24 hours a day in operation. It replaces the laboratory which is currently situated in the former main office, a building which is scheduled to be demolished in the nearby future.

For BP, safety is of paramount importance. The design of the laboratory incorporates safety on various levels. First of all, the building’s position on the site is carefully considered and takes into account all external risk factors like blast contours and heat radiation. Our masterplan makes it possible to position the building in a zone with a low exposure to these external risks, eliminating the need of costly safety measures providing a more passive protection.

At the building level we made a clear division between offices, lab space and the supporting program. One straight corridor ties the three zones together, acting as a backbone for the building. This setup gives all rooms a direct view of the site, providing orientation and giving an extra sense of security to the employees. But more important, there is an unobstructed visual connection between the laboratory space and the offices and break room. This way the employees can keep an eye on each other during their work. To reinforce this, we positioned the fume hoods in units of four to minimize the obstruction of sight lines.

Because of the nature of the laboratory, future flexibility is very important. Multiple levels of flexibility are possible thanks to the use of concrete portal frames. The frames do not require any wind bracing which greatly enhances the internal flexibility. Expansion is a matter of duplicating the frames in the desired direction.

The architecture of the laboratory is characterized by its openness and transparency combined with a robust concrete structure. The black facade, not prone to get dirty, contrasts with the white and spacious interior which thanks to its finishings and detailing encourages a clean work ethic.

LocationRotterdam, the NetherlandsServicesArchitecture, interior design, project management, building services, site infrastructure
Scope1.500 m2TeamStefan Kolen, Robert Collignon

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