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Vaccinopolis, the main Centre for Evaluation of Vaccination in Europe

26.01.2023 | Offices

Vaccinopolis has opened its doors to become one of the most important vaccine evaluation centres in Europe. In fact, the only one, as its promoter Pierre Van Damme recalls, who according to what he says 'there is no comparable facility of this magnitude in continental Europe. For comparable facilities, you would have to go to the United States or Great Britain.'

At this research centre in Antwerp (Belgium), all kinds of vaccines are tested and improved in order to anticipate new diseases and be able to fight them and existing ones. A great advance according to Van Damme explains because 'the development of vaccines is one of the greatest global challenges today.'

Hence, the building was built in record time. In little more than a year, Vaccinopolis was already a reality when it is normal for projects of this type to take about four or five years, but 'the circumstances were exceptional,' says the chief architect, Roy Pype (Proof of the sum), for whom 'COVID-19 proves that viruses can strike quickly and unexpectedly'.

In Vaccinopolis, outpatient clinical trials are carried out at the Vaccine Evaluation Center and it has the capacity to test vaccines in up to 30 people at the same time. The technique used is called Controlled Human Infection Models (CHIM) and means that test subjects are first given a vaccine or a placebo and then a diluted dose of a pathogen. In this way, researchers can more quickly test the effectiveness of a vaccine candidate.

A tailor-made building

We are facing a high-tech centre and that should also be reflected in the design of its building, but without forgetting the human part. This is how a human-centric design is proposed, in which advanced laboratory functions are combined with accessible, comfortable and even attractive interiors for the patients.

The end result is a building that takes on an elegant, geometric form, finished in mirrored panels and with a generous number of windows that let in light while maintaining privacy.

Vaccinopolis is a work of many with an unbeatable result: Exilab, Abstract Architecten, burO Groen and Establis were responsible for the integral design, while the realization was in the hands of Jansen Building Group, Jansen Cleanrooms and Cordeel.

Waiting room chairs in Vaccinopolis
The SLAM Chair in rest areas of Vaccinopolis (Antwerp)

The complex consists of a clinical test room, laboratories, offices, consultation rooms and accommodation and relaxation facilities. For some of the meeting relaxation facilities, various models of our SLAM Chair, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina for Sellex, have been chosen. Specifically, the SLAM Basic Chair and the SLAM Chair on castors, this last with arms.

We think it is a very appropriate seat for this type of installation in which the same neutral style is required as well as a functional design, and SLAM is just that.


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