16 September 2019
The EPO welcomed 750 visitors to its new premises in Rijswijk last weekend as part of the Netherlands' national heritage days (Open Monumentendag). This is the first time that the EPO has participated in the country-wide annual event, and it is also the first time that the Office's new building in The Hague has opened its doors to the public.
"The European Patent Office has deep historical roots in Rijswijk, so we were delighted to be invited to take part in the Open Monumentendag," said EPO President António Campinos. "It was a fantastic opportunity to open our Rijswijik office so everyone had an opportunity to learn more about our new building, our work and the different ways in which we support innovation."
Over the course of the two-day event visitors from the local area, Amsterdam and from as far away as Neuenhaus, Germany, took guided tours of the EPO's new building. They learned about its environmental sustainability features, enjoyed sweeping views from the rooftop and had a behind-the-scenes look at the work of a patent examiner. Having seen the construction of new landmark building over four years, visitors expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to see the facility from the inside.
The EPO's new Rijswijk office building was designed by the internationally renowned architects Jean Nouvel and Diederik Dam. The slender tower is 107 meters high, 156 meters long and only 24.7 meters wide. It has several remarkable functions: the double glass facade plays an essential role in the climate concept and houses hanging gardens with 300 different types of plants. The building has an office garden on the roof, from where visitors have a panoramic view of the surrounding area at a height of over 100 meters.
Construction began in 2014 and the building was officially opened in June 2018 in the presence of King Willem-Alexander. Today, some 2 000 staff work in the distinctive new office where its advanced technical infrastructure supports EPO patent examiners and other staff in searching and examining European patent applications coming from companies and inventors from around the world. The building was recently named ‘Best Tall Office Building' by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.