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July 25, 2011

This conference center, designed by the Amsterdam-based firm SeARCH, is an extension of a 14th-century Danish farm and building. Designed for Novo Nordisk a/s, the biggest insulin producer in the world, the building contains an auditorium, offices, restaurants, meeting rooms, sports and fitness facilities, and guest rooms—and aims to represent a more dynamic model for what a conference center can be. Here's a look inside. All photos by Iwan Baan.

The Novo Nordisk conference center is located on the shore of a lake in Hillerød, on the footprint of ‘Favrholm,’ a monumental Danish farm that originates from the 14th century.
The Novo Nordisk conference center is located on the shore of a lake in Hillerød, on the footprint of ‘Favrholm,’ a monumental Danish farm that originates from the 14th century.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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The restored 14th-century farmhouse, pictured here, contains the main entrance. This very building played a crucial role in the history of the company: it was here, for the first time in history, that insulin was extracted from the pancreas of cows.
The restored 14th-century farmhouse, pictured here, contains the main entrance. This very building played a crucial role in the history of the company: it was here, for the first time in history, that insulin was extracted from the pancreas of cows.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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By realizing the extension partly underground, the architects maintained the view to the monumental farm. There are also views of the landscape and the lake from every meeting room.
By realizing the extension partly underground, the architects maintained the view to the monumental farm. There are also views of the landscape and the lake from every meeting room.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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A view of the historic farmhouse and the modern northern and eastern extensions.
A view of the historic farmhouse and the modern northern and eastern extensions.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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Here's one spot where old (the farmhouse) meets new (the conference wing).
Here's one spot where old (the farmhouse) meets new (the conference wing).
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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Novo Nordisk had originally hoped for a series of conference rooms in varying styles, from classical to postmodern. SeARCH proposed a more modest scheme based on "the sketching of cows" (the way cows were registered and identified in the past).
Novo Nordisk had originally hoped for a series of conference rooms in varying styles, from classical to postmodern. SeARCH proposed a more modest scheme based on "the sketching of cows" (the way cows were registered and identified in the past).
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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Each meeting room has a floor plan in the shape of a cow’s ear or leaf, all of them slightly different in shape, size and material.
Each meeting room has a floor plan in the shape of a cow’s ear or leaf, all of them slightly different in shape, size and material.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
7 / 10
A view of the staircase that connects the on-site restaurant with the underground conference wing.
A view of the staircase that connects the on-site restaurant with the underground conference wing.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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There's plenty of alfresco seating outside the East Wing auditorium. The auditorium's rectangular form was inspired by the barns that once stood there.
There's plenty of alfresco seating outside the East Wing auditorium. The auditorium's rectangular form was inspired by the barns that once stood there.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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An exterior view of the connection between the East Wing and the existing farmhouse.
An exterior view of the connection between the East Wing and the existing farmhouse.
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
10 / 10
The Novo Nordisk conference center is located on the shore of a lake in Hillerød, on the footprint of ‘Favrholm,’ a monumental Danish farm that originates from the 14th century.
The Novo Nordisk conference center is located on the shore of a lake in Hillerød, on the footprint of ‘Favrholm,’ a monumental Danish farm that originates from the 14th century.

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