European Spallation Source (ESS) / Henning Larsen Architects + COBE + SLA

© Henning Larsen - - SLA

Architects: Henning Larsen Architects, COBE, SLA
Location: Lund, Sweden
Design Team From : Jacob Kurek (responsible partner), Michael Sørensen (lead design architect), Helle Basse Larsen (project manager), Mikkel Eskildsen, Daniel Baumann, Martha Lewis, Silke Jörgenshaus, Hanan Ghizzaui, Magnus Kramhøft, Kyd Kitchaiya, Sebastian Mardi, Grace Xu, Uyen Phan and Erlend Lindstad (model)
Design Team From Cobe: Dan Stubbergaard (responsible partner), Thomas Krarup (lead design architect), David Engell Jessen, Johanne Holmsberg, Rune Veile, Frederik Lyng, Greta Tiedje, Louise Boss Mortensen and Dimitrie Gridorescu
Design Team From Sla: Stig L. Andersson(responsible partner and lead design architect), Katrine Sandstrøm and Laura Parsons
Area: 100000.0 sqm
Photographs: Luxigon

ESS Description

The European Spallation Source (ESS) will become the world’s largest and most advanced research facility for neutron-based research. ESS is located in the university city of Lund in southern Sweden.

Engineers: Buro Happold, NNE Pharmaplan and Transsolar
Consultant: Head of Programme Bent Lauritzen, DTU Nutech
3 D Illustrations: Christian Schjøll
Concept For Sustainability: Jakob Strømann-Andersen
Client: ESS – European Spallation Source

Rendering by Luxigon

ESS will be a research campus with a more than 600 meters long proton accelerator and a 180 meters long hall in which the protons hit a target and send neutrons off to a number of halls with measuring instruments. In the instruments, the neutrons are used to analyze the materials that the researchers are studying. ESS will also contain a number of facilities for researchers: laboratories, offices and a lecture hall.

© Henning Larsen - COBE - SLA

At ESS, researchers will work in a setting that supports meetings across disciplines and research fields. In the atriums found in the buildings, visiting researchers will be able to meet each other informally, inspire each other, exchange ideas and share their knowledge. When the weather permits, the outdoor areas will also offer a plethora of places to stay in.

© Henning Larsen - COBE - SLA

The architecture is inspired by one of the most important elements in the spallation process, the tungsten disc. The disc and the tungsten metal are used as visual metaphors that mark the centre of the research facility: a large, circular roof above the hall that holds the tungsten disc. This will become a point of orientation for the campus area at ESS, and it will make ESS stand out in relation to the research facility Max IV and Lund Science Village.

© Henning Larsen - COBE - SLA


The facades on all laboratories and office buildings have been designed with a view to creating the best possible relation between indoor climate, daylight and energy consumption. Consideration has been paid to the rooms’ functions and the orientation of the facades. Daylight analyses of the rooms help to create optimum working conditions for the users and ensure low energy consumption.

© Henning Larsen - COBE - SLA

The part of the campus area comprising offices and laboratories has been analyzed in terms of wind conditions so that the buildings will create shelter and make it possible to stay outdoors for 2-3 weeks more per year than would be the case with a conventional plan. The wind analyses also contribute to improving the microclimate so that it has a positive effect on the buildings’ energy consumption. 

Site Plan
Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "European Spallation Source (ESS) / Henning Larsen Architects + COBE + SLA" 01 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
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  • Eric de Broche des Combes

    The aerial view and some parts (!) of the other images are ©Luxigon.

  • caterina

    Questo e’ il blog giusto per tutti coloro che vogliono capire qualcosa su questo argomento. Trovo quasi difficile discutere con te (cosa che io in realta’ vorrei… haha). Avete sicuramente dato nuova vita a un tema di cui si e’ parlato per anni. Grandi cose, semplicemente fantastico!