Utrecht University

Life Sciences Incubator identity

The Life Sciences Incubator (LSI) is a business centre for start-ups in the bioscience field and will consist of both laboratories and offices. In coöperation with Mecanoo Architects SILO developed a spatial identity, designed for privacy regulation on all the glass walls in the central atrium.

A special feature within the architecture is the light, central atrium. The ensemble of bridges and staircases with integrated meeting spots has been designed to promote cooperation. All floors are visible from the atrium. The glass walls provide a transparent architecture, but the privacy of the start-up companies should also be ensured. SILO teamed up with Mecanoo to explore special solutions to this practical challenge.


Mecanoo Architects, Life Sciences Incubator, top view


The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms – such as micro organisms, plants, animals, and human beings – as well as related considerations like bioethics. While biology remains the centrepiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of specializations and interdisciplinary fields.


In life all living things are highly organized and structured. SILO divided the building floors into different scales, following a hierarchy that can be examined from small to large / from micro to macro. The building blocks consists of a selection of atomic elements from the Periodic Table. Brought together they shape a magical, organic network of life.


Life Sciences Incubator periodic elements as building blocks

‘Scanning’ the heart of the LSI building gives an insight in the world of science, making the invisible visible. Visitors, researchers, students, teachers, employees etc. become part of this wonderful world of life science.


From macro to micro and from micro to macro

By using processing algorithms SILO designed a method to create unique evolving patterns, regulating the transparency of the glass and adding identity to the building.

Level 4. Atoms, Molecules & Macromolecules

Level 3. Organelles & Cells

Level 2. Tissues & Organs

Level 1. Organisms, Population & Communities

Level 0: Biosphere


Life Science Incubator interior view


Details on glass


Design Scientists


  • Client
    Utrecht University
  • Year
  • Activities
    3D graphics
    Spatial design
  • Fotografie
    Mecanoo Architects / SILO

More info?


Rene Toneman
+31 (0)70 3856 946
+31 (0)6 24 66 07 37

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