Technology Focuses: GLASS
The two building of the Photonic Centre are conceived as volumes with soft contours which create a strong identity within the existing rectilinear context and yet which do not challenge the gentle coherence of the site. However, the sinuous forms of the buildings are at the same time a direct response to the requirements of the brief. The building is a case study for the integration of architecture, construction and services. It is built with an economical prefabricated concrete structure: the floor slabs are corrugated in section so that every point within the flexible plan can be serviced from above and below. The plantrooms on the roof and in the basement are connected by risers along the central corridor. The horizontal distribution is facilitated by prefabricated U-sections that spans up to 10 m, either to beams or directly through to the façade, where they are supported by paired columns. The twin columns lend the external skin a certain depth and rhythm: this becomes a double façade that enables protection of external solar louvers as well as natural ventilation for the offices on the perimeter of the plan. The single-storey hall is constructed with a steel skeleton: its skin consists of a full height glass façade with internal color-coated sunshades.
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