BIG . Coldefy

European Medicines Agency . Lille

BIG . Coldefy . European Medicines Agency . Lille (1)

BIG . Coldefy & Associates

The European Medicines Agency project presents several challenges, including turning Brexit into an opportunity, presenting a new image for the
institution, and increasing the visibility of its activities among all European citizens. The project takes the form of a volume that opens upon and around a large, protected empty space, an interior garden that creates an exceptional place for meetings, friendly exchanges and work

This soothing garden stands as the very heart of the project. In terms of the project’s structure, well-being has been made the focal point, with large open spaces, conference and meeting areas on the ground floor, tiered terraces and a restaurant on the last level. The project has been designed as a vast urban lounge, as can be seen immediately upon entering it. This stands side by side with a continuous public space that is at the centre of the project. Designed in the spirit of a dynamic and environmentally friendly campus, it promotes myriad human phenomena such as stimulation, rest, interaction and conciliation. The space is warm with its leafy, green trees and vegetation. Social interactions can take place in a clearing protected by an active roof.

The concept was developed based on the geometry of a ring, which is a shape that results in having no back facade. Along the ring’s perimeter, the various office areas are distributed per standard office modules with 1.35-metre facade grid, which allows for greater flexibility of use. On each level, bridges cross the vast central space, connecting the spaces to each other while creating traffic-flow shortcuts. Indeed, to enhance the links between different departments, functional walkways traverse the patio and allow for all its users to be brought closer together. The walkways are designed to be like «inhabited bridges», enabling people to circulate freely across the patio while also presenting opportunities for creating additional extraordinary activities in the centre of the project, such as a library, an exhibition gallery or an auditorium.

The project puts forward a new model for modern and flexible workspaces – it is both an informal workplace as well as being a place where exchanges and interactions are encouraged.

Lille, France

Competition 2017

Surface area
29 503 m²


Lead Architect
Bjarke Ingels Group

Associate architect
Coldefy & Associates

Structural engineering
BIG, Bollinger+grohmann, Ingé bois

HQE building services engineering

Landscape architect

Bureau michel Forgue