FAQ - New building in The Hague



What will the new building look like?

The selected design is a tall steel building with a sophisticated double glass facade, about 100m high and 150m long. The glass facade will be reflected in a landscaped pond. It will be a bold example of contemporary architecture, symbolising the EPO’s mission to foster innovation in Europe.

How environmentally friendly will it be?

The building's design places a strong focus on sustainability. The builders aim to minimise its impact on the environment while ensuring very healthy, safe and comfortable indoor conditions for our staff and visitors. To ensure sustainability, a mix of criteria from the Netherland's BREEAM-NL and the German BNB methods of environmental assessment were included in the requirements for the building.

When will it be built?

Construction started in 2014. Delivery of the new building is currently planned for April 2018, demolition of the existing “Tower” building is currently planned for April 2019 and landscaping of the site is expected to be completed in early 2020.

Timeline of the construction of the new building

Why do we need a new building?

The existing building - now 40 years old - has suffered from natural ageing, exacerbated by recent harsh winters, and also no longer meets the needs of our staff.

Who will build it?

A consortium of four companies belonging to the TBI group (one of the largest providers of construction, mechanical and electrical services in the Netherlands) and working in co‑operation with two leading architecture firms, Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris) and Dam & Partners Architecten (Amsterdam), has been chosen to design and construct the building.

How was the contract awarded?

Following an open, international pre-qualification phase, the invitation to tender for the design and construction of the new building was issued on 23 April 2012.

In this first round of the tender procedure proper, ten consortia were invited to submit a bid. Eight of them submitted a valid bid by the deadline of early July 2012. An international jury met on 31 July 2012 to select the best three for consideration in the second, non-anonymous round. The three shortlisted consortia were asked to elaborate on their initial bids and submit a preliminary design.

The jury met again in January 2013 to assess these detailed bids and recommend one for the contract award. The EPO President submitted the jury's recommendation to the Administrative Council's Budget and Finance Committee, which cleared it for final approval by the Council. The Council then gave the go-ahead to award the contract to the selected bidder in June 2013.

How noisy will the construction work be?

We have set very strict limits for the permissible levels of noise and vibration. The builders will use techniques designed to keep noise and vibration to a minimum, but levels will be measured continuously and the work will be stopped if the limits are exceeded.

What are the practical implications for visitors?

In 2014 the main entrance and the visitors’ car park were relocated.

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