The InnovOcean campus in Ostend centralizes the maritime research activities of ILVO, VLIZ and their project partners in a new office and research building. The building has an important receptive function as a conference center. The design expresses the ambition of both research institutes to collaborate as much as possible in an interdisciplinary manner and to share facilities and knowledge.
The InnovOcean Campus consists of a densely stacked volume with a pedestal of public functions on the new “Watertorenplein”, a rational office tower of 7 storeys that demarcates the square, and behind it a zone with labs and logistics services. The building with its low-column structure has been designed as an open frame as much as possible, whereby different program points in time remain possible. The project will form the head of a new development between the water tower and Fort Napoleon in Ostend, at the crossroads between the “Vuurtorenwijk” and the “Oosteroever”.
What is special about “InnovOcean” Campus is that the project combines a technical research program with an important public and urban anchor function on the scale of Ostend “Oosteroever”. The building becomes monumental due to its profile, plinth and materiality. “InnovOcean” Campus concretizes the urban vision as developed by 51N4E and AWB and forms the pivot between the lighthouse district and the eastern bank.
The theme of sea and water is literally and figuratively reflected in the choice of materials. The smooth outer shell is provided with blue glass mosaic. The color palette of floors and joinery refers to the white-yellow-gold of sea sand. The public functions are linked in the plinth. The restaurant has an indoor terrace at the top of the building with a view of the North Sea. A simple intervention that nevertheless gives the robust volume a recognizability in the Ostend skyline.