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European Medicines Agency · Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The green setting of the new European Medicines Agency


The relocation of the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam was challenging due to the fact that the new headquarters had to be realised both quickly and to a high standard. The result is a striking building in which greenery is fully integrated thanks to a ‘landscape ribbon’ that weaves through the entire building both on the outside and  within. The project highlight is an enormous indoor green wall  that spans the full height of the building: the highest of its kind in Europe.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2017 - 2019
Project area
1 ha
Bouwcombinatie EMA - Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, Dura Vermeer, Heijmans
MVSA, Fokkema en partners, Rots maatwerk, Koninkijke Ginkelgroep
Photography Credits
Corne Bastiaansen, Maarten Boswijk, Rutger van der Klip

An ambitious objective

With EMA’s move to the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s Zuidas district has gained a major new occupant. In just 18 months, the nearly 40,000-square-metre building took shape. This speed is the result of intensive cooperation between all parties involved. Equally striking is that the speed did not come at the expense of high quality. This is particularly evident in the integrated vision of greenery in every aspect of the high-rise building.


Landscape ribbon

The monolithic, austere architecture of the new building is softened by a green structure that runs around and through the building like a lush green ribbon. It has an organic pattern accentuated by the high-quality lineation of stainless-steel accents. The lush roof garden and vertical garden in the atrium follow the organic patterns of the entrance, intertwining outside and inside.


green wall

The biggest eye-catcher in the landscape ribbon is the vertical garden in the building’s atrium. This green wall, with a spectacular size of 21 metres wide and no less than 60 metres high is made up of  over 52,000 plants  providing a three-dimensional, sculptural quality that emphasises the lushness of the landscape ribbon. The wall consists of a combination of a mix of planting and natural stone paving that follows the organic lines.

Creator of meaningful places

Lush terraces

Green habitats have been created both at the entrance and on the roof terrace. The combination of lush greenery, organic lines and unusual benches, specially chosen for the project, create inviting outdoor spaces both private and public. Here, rainwater is collected and can then be stored in buffers in both the roofs and underground for watering the greenery.


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