Royal HaskoningDHV developed a masterplan for the Europoort site. Three designated areas for buildings were defined, the new laboratory is one of them. The laboratory will be used for the analysis and quantification of oil samples and is 24 hours a day in operation.
Safety is of paramount importance for BP. The design of the laboratory incorporates safety on various levels. First of all, the buildings position on the site is carefully considered and takes into account all external risk factors like blast contours and heat radiation. Our masterplan positions 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 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 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 finishing and detailing encourages a clean work ethic.