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more floor space than originally planned




of the new building's heating requirements met by heat from cows' milk

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The challenge

Over the past decade, the Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden has grown from its beginnings as a test farm for the dairy industry to become an international knowledge center for education, practical research, business and knowledge platforms. The Wageningen University & Research (WUR) site was no longer able to handle the increasing flow of visitors and users, and was in desperate need of a new reception building, in particular.


The solution

Together with DLV Advies, Arcadis designed and developed the reception building with its striking facade and roof. We also took care of spatial integration, landscape design, site layout and overall management of the project. In addition to a spacious reception area, office, education, workshop and exhibition spaces have all been realized under the enormous roof. The fifteen-year-old service house has been integrated into the new building and transformed into an 'in-house office', which meant that the reception building became larger and taller than originally intended. In spite of these changes, it was still constructed within the original budget.



    Thanks in part to all of these smart interventions, the building is fully prepared for the future. The large roof overhang on the south side and the polycarbonate facades dissipate the heat in the summer months. At strategic points, the facades are punctuated by transparent openings, so that visitors can see the landscape, the cows and the semi-circular milking shed. When the large steel sliding doors are fully open, the transition between the inside and outside spaces becomes even more blurred. The striking roof blends in seamlessly with the agricultural landscape and surrounding sheds. 

    By placing meeting rooms and flexible workplaces in the old construction where possible, there is ample space for moving around the building. Thanks to the large, slender steel structures spanning the construction, the old building is elegantly integrated with the new. The building also makes smart use of residual energy: By using heat from the cows' milk for the underfloor heating, installation costs were kept down. 

The impact

With its new multi-purpose reception building, Dairy Campus can now welcome around 10,000 visitors a year. Thanks to its remarkable design and visible location from the road, it is also easy for new visitors to find. The details and system construction are inspired by greenhouse architecture, while the materials used have an agricultural character, creating a building that holds great appeal in the Frisian landscape. At the same time, the new reception center acts as a modern, sustainable and stylish 'business card' for this international dairy knowledge center.


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