DARMSTADT (DE) - In November 2010, on the campus of the Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (part of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the largest organization for applied scientific research in Europe), the new Adaptronics Transfer Centre opened. Cologne-based JSWD architects had been commissioned to design a building that functions as, and gives the impression of, a single entity, but in which the individual components – laboratories, offices, communications, display and seminar rooms – can also function independently. These components were also required to allow scope for intensive collaboration and communication between changing work groups.
The link between the spatial components is consequently organized around an internal main axis made up of three zones: the research hall with its auxiliary rooms, a zone housing the technical facilities and staff rooms, and finally, the communications, display and seminar area. All these spaces are spatially and visually connected with one another: all the important spaces are double-height and have glazed walls. In contrast to the sober white of the interior, the exterior of the building provides a lively spectacle. The volume is wrapped in long, perforated brass sheets. Across the facade is an irregular grid of square openings that offer glimpses of the interior and at the same time, despite the solidity of the metal sheets, have the appearance of filigree.
Depending on the position of the sun and time of year, the colour of the brass changes – a subtle reference to the two fundamental aspects of adaptronics: 'action' and 'reaction'. In reaction to weather conditions, the golden yellow sheets change from gold to matt brown to yellowish brown and finally to a dark grey/brown, although the yellow undertone remains visible at all times. The sandwich elements and brass sheets are a new product, used for the first time in the Darmstadt project. (Hannah Schubert)
Facade, Metal |