Henning Larsen design selected for new CERN research building

19 February 2024
  • Vivid Vision
  • Vivid Vision
  • Vivid Vision

Henning Larsen





Nature-based facility planned for Prévessin campus

The design by Tenderstream member Henning Larsen has been selected for a campus building and related landscape for world-leading scientific research center, CERN. Crafting a 'nature campus' identity for CERN’s Prévessin campus on the French side of the France-Switzerland border, the circular B777 building stands at the edge of the forest and park, featuring a low-carbon design prioritised to generate community, collaboration, and wellbeing.

Henning Larsen’s concept echoes CERN’s original mission to unite scientists in the collective pursuit of knowledge. The quadruple height public atrium - featuring informal working and lounge areas and connecting bridges - promotes the idea of a place that fosters a free exchange of ideas. With no dead ends, the large, flexible floor plans define community zones within the building, each with dedicated outdoor space and lounge areas. 

Drawing inspiration from the protected plazas at the heart of nearby Alpine villages, the building’s central courtyard serves as an extension of office and indoor activities, connecting lab zones to informal meeting areas, and providing a gateway to the restaurant, which offers outdoor seating and a kitchen garden with aromatic plants. The outer landscape surrounding the building will take on a more urban character, including space for bike paths, bike parking, and charging stations, with islands of wild grass inspired by the Jura mountains.

Sonja Stockmarr, Global Design Director, Landscape, Henning Larsen, states: “Stepping onto the Prévessin Campus is an immersion in the natural beauty of the area, where nature and indoor/outdoor activities seamlessly intertwine. As you navigate through the forest, you encounter a clearing, bathed in natural light filtering through the canopy above. The bio-based design of the structure seamlessly blends into its surroundings, mirroring the natural elements and encouraging further exploration with the rough soils and native vegetation beneath your feet. As the native biodiversity thrives and evolves with the seasons, so does the building and its inhabitants. This serene environment sets the stage for a unique working experience, where the possibility of activity in nature enhances productivity and well-being.” 

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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