Vaccinopolis Antwerp

The first European CHIM center

Because the climate is changing and people are living closer together, are getting older, travel more… viruses are spreading. Faster than ever. That is why vaccine development is one of the major global challenges of today.

On behalf of the University of Antwerp and Université Libre de Bruxelles, professors Pierre van Damme and Arnoud Marchant therefore take the lead: “Within the vaccine center Vaccinopolis, we bring together top talent from various disciplines – with financial support from the federal government and private partners. The complex will consist of a clinical test room, laboratories, offices, consultation rooms and accommodation and relaxation facilities. This allows us to test vaccines on up to 30 people at the same time. The technique used is called Controlled Human Infection Models (CHIM). In this human challenge study, bright minds challenge healthy subjects by exposing them to an attenuated version of a pathogen.”

The IMM/Unity consortium is commissioned to design, build and maintain Vaccinopolis for a period of 15 years.  Proof of the sum, Exilab, Abstract Architects, burO Groen and Establis are responsible for the integrated design. The realization was in hands of Jansen Building Group, Jansen Cleanrooms and Cordeel. Imtech Belgium, together with Jansen Cleanrooms, is responsible for the maintenance.

Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures. Because viruses are on the rise quickly, the project partners are shortening the usual turnaround time (normally 4 to 5 years) to 1.5 years: Vaccinopolis opened its doors in March 2022.


  • Architectural design
  • Interior design

Key drivers

  • Flexibility
  • High containment
  • Fast track


  • Client: UAntwerp
  • Users: Centrum voor de Evaluatie van Vaccinaties
  • Team: Roy Pype, Ali Al Bahbahani, Maurice van den Berg, Ece Eren, Amir Eismann, Gosia Machaj, Eerde van Leeuwen, Blaz Solar, Natalia Sulkowska-Bakker, Krzysztof Zinger
  • Consultants: Exilab, Abstract Architecten, BTV, burO Groen Establis, Advipro
  • Contractors: Jansen Cleanrooms, Cordeel, Jansen Building Group, Imtech Belgium
  • Visualization: Proof of the sum
  • Photography: Marcel van der Burg
  • Video: Volk and Proof of the sum