The Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has started new construction of the Hubrecht Institute, where the Utrecht University Medical Centre (UMC Utrecht) and Hubrecht Institute will house a laboratory for research on practical applications of regenerative medicine and stem cells.
The Hubrecht Institute and the UMC Utrecht have been working together since 2008.
Both have office on the Utrecht Science Park and contribute to international biomedical research. The Hubrecht Institute conducts fundamental research into developmental biology, focusing on stem cells. This has direct relevance to one of UMC Utrecht’s core research areas: regenerative medicine and stem cells. The institute’s new construction project will reinforce the cooperation between researchers and clinicians, facilitating the development of practical applications for specialised research.

Project information


Project Mamagement




Royal Dutch Academy of Arts


OPL architects

Project size

9.500m2 GFA

Start of project

March 2014


August 2015

Consulting services

Construction management from detailed design up to and including delivery

The building houses multiple functions, among which laboratories, offices, conference rooms etc., and closely connects UMC Utrecht with the Hubrecht Institute. The building will be approximately 9.500m2 GFA in size and serves as an expansion to the current building on the Utrecht Uithof. The design is made by OPL Architects and comprises a five story building, topped by a technical floor.

The existing building in need of expansion is introvert and constructed with dark façade material. It is strictly utilitarian. To counterweight this building’s stark features, the architect has chosen light, sharp shapes for Building E: a great amount of glass, combined with white, metal façade panels. The new construction is distinct and has a transparent character, amplified by glazing that is partly clear and partly translucent.

The atrium that connects the existing to the new building is fully transparent. The atrium’s functions allow for this transparency. To illustrate, the heart of a laboratory building can be compared to a beehive. People walk in and out, meet each other and work together. The auditory and the restaurant are situated in the atrium, as well as a number of work and student spaces.

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