Modular labs as a template for global innovation

Chemical & Consumer Goods Giant,
Düsseldorf, Seoul & Shanghai

How do you encourage innovation? This was the question set to us by a world-renowned chemical and consumer goods giant.

It wanted to establish new ways of working and encourage innovation within the lab environment globally, by creating a series of innovation centres in key strategic locations. M Moser was assigned to design the first three innovation centres in Düsseldorf, Seoul and Shanghai, as part of a wider worldwide rollout. The approach would be defined by the Düsseldorf site and repeated for future facilities.

Modular labs as a template for global innovation section

Establishing efficient lab modules

We began by developing a deep understanding of both the business and its people. The solution was conceived on the principle of “One Scientist”, which involved examining the optimum amount of space that a scientist requires daily.

The team used this concept to establish a common module for an open lab environment designed around the chemical requirements of the space that would also meet the needs of the client’s different business units.

Modular labs as a template for global innovation section

To address this, we developed an activity-based lab strategy that could be facilitated through each module. The lab modules have consequently been clustered into building facility blocks, enabling a rollout that can be adapted to a range of different site limitations. 

The impressive building houses three and a half clusters of activity-based settings around a bright, airy central atrium. Three clusters prioritise a variety of lab environments, while the half bay houses a training centre, offices and a range of different functions that can flexibly transform into additional labs when required.

Modular labs as a template for global innovation section
Modular labs as a template for global innovation section
Modular labs as a template for global innovation section

Enhancing the way people work

The atrium sits at the heart of the space, as a key place for people from across the business to connect and innovate – from customers, vendors and scientists through sales, marketing, administration and more.

The lower bottom atrium is a focused space for external visitors, while the upper atrium has been designed to encourage interaction between employees. Enabling a continuous exchange of ideas, the atrium is organised to ensure efficiency in the context of a building that projects an image of timelessness, innovation and high technology.

Modular labs as a template for global innovation section

Addressing site limitations

The concept for the Düsseldorf facility (three lab clusters with a central atrium) has been modified to a smaller site in Seoul, incorporating two lab clusters with a linear atrium in between. In Shanghai, we have extended the existing vertical campus, adapting the modular layout to form a single cluster with various atriums.

A template for global rollout

Pushing the boundaries of large, modular lab units, our multifunctional solution introduces a leading-edge approach to R&D, headquarters and innovation centre design. Having set the standard in Düsseldorf, we went on to create two more regional innovation centres in Seoul and Shanghai.

  • Status In progress
  • Area 430,570 sq-ft
  • Completion date 2017
  • Location Düsseldorf, Seoul & Shanghai


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