This catalytic and multi-tenant office design has a core ambition - to create a fully integrated and self-sufficient business precinct, helping create a healthy, inspirational, and productive place to work. Partnering with Schiphol Real Estate - and a further 70+ different stakeholders and experts - we are boosting the sustainability and performance of the Schiphol Central Business District. With a footprint of over 20,000m², this space is unprecedented in sustainable and future-proof design and construction.


Inspiring and future-proof office space

A shining example of a genuinely catalytic design, this project delivers a concept for a new type of office space - one that can boost users' health and performance by up to 20%. These benefits alone are priceless.

The building is highly versatile, allowing tenants, individuals, and teams to easily express their identity and modify their working environment to suit any changes in their functional needs.


These offices are nothing like the workspaces you're familiar with and are more like an array of desks surrounded by lush gardens. This typology isn't just good for its inhabitants; altering it transforms the areas into productive systems comprised of closed resource loops, circular water, food and waste systems, and energy-positive networks.

Most importantly, our innovative resilience strategies in design and business offer users the flexibility for future changes and adaptation to different companies or markets. It's difficult to deny the inherent value of such a project in both the short and long term.


In conjunction with Schiphol Group, we investigated the possibility of accommodating an increasing demand for office and parking space at the WTC. Hence, the need for an expansive 20.000 m2 multifunctional floor space and the construction of this high-performance building.

We see this as an opportunity to enhance the area's quality beyond the structure's walls and increase the Schiphol district's overall sustainability and long-term value. Simultaneously, it preserves the green qualities of this rare plot of open space in such a business district.

  • The goals for the Catalyst building represent the most ground-breaking sustainability performance indicators for an office building to date, anywhere in the world. The Catalyst project proves it can be realistically achieved - it's a great day for Schiphol and sustainable cities everywhere.

    Tom Bosschaert

    Catalyst Program Director

Using our very own tried and tested SiD (Symbiosis in Development) assessment, we co-developed a set of actionable and measurable performance goals for the building that far exceeds existing sustainable building benchmarks, such as BREEAM and WELL.

We came up with several goals for the project, such as:

  • Schiphol CBD becoming the national center for globally-focused companies
  • Achieving world-class sustainability performance
  • Crafting an outstanding experience for residents and travelers
  • Creating a healthy, vibrant, and comfortable working environment and community.

To make these goals more measurable, we organized them into several categories: energy, materials, ecosystems & biodiversity, culture, economy & logistics, and health & wellbeing.

circular flows catalyst.jpg

The concept consists of a core structure comprised of offices, business spaces, parking facilities, and public spaces organized within the same area. The lower layers will be dedicated to parking and water storage facilities.

The upper level is a lush elevated landscape and ecosystem, crucial to the metabolism of the structure and helping the facility achieve its ambitious sustainability goals. This mini-ecosystem is contained in a transparent enclosure, helping to deal with Schiphol's restrictions on birdlife, health and safety measures, and allowing control over the elements.

There are multiple stilted office module pavilions within the park to keep the environment as open as possible. They are flexible enough to allow for cyclical renovation and relocation and permit a wide range of designs for each companies unique needs and expression.

circular schematic catalyst.jpg

The entire structure works as a circular catalyst within the Schiphol business precinct and goes beyond the usual solar panels and greywater systems and instead closes multiple local resource flow loops.

In other words, the concept will remove the need to import all of its resources and optimize its systems to minimize waste. Where possible, it taps into waste flows from the neighboring buildings, maintaining its claim as a genuinely catalytic building.

July 27, 2016

Client & Partners

Project team

  • Tom Bosschaert


  • Antonia Sore


  • Luca Gennari

    Environmental Engineering Consultant

  • Albertien Perdok

    Ecosystem Designer

  • Arjan Luiten

    Sustainable Spatial Designer & Architect

  • Bart Stoffels

    Urban planner, process manager

  • Elsa Semin

    Sustainable Cities Intern

  • Libera Amenta

    Urban Planner, Metabolism & Circularity

  • Marta Suanzes


  • Michiel van der Vight

    Senior Associate

  • Mirjam Schmüll

    Urban strategist, process manager

  • Bart Verhagen

    Quality Control
    Rotterdams Ontwikkelcollectief

  • Cecile van Oppen

    Business Modeling

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