Abelardo Gonzalez designs new World Maritime University in Malmö
The competition addressed to the extension of the existing World Maritime University building in Malmö, Sweden. The design had to take into consideration the necessity of caring out a new landmark at the same time as a sustainable design, which would bring the energy consumption of new and existing premises to zero.
The site is located in the city's centre and coast line, very close to the main train station and just in front of the city's only canal. The site is a very important architectural point since it is the threshold of the new urban areas and the old city centre; an invisible line representing the change between new and traditional architecture. The site's dynamics are very strong due to its position in front of one of the main arteries of communication between the old city center and the new urban areas of recreation, dwelling and education.
The city of Malmö had a major industrial occupation in its coast line (naval and automotive). The design was carried through a site's careful analysis, having in consideration its past, present and future as well as the intrinsic dynamic forces manifested by the surroundings. The façade's materiality was elected by the site's conscious historic understanding. The election of CorTen steel brings back the industrial memories at the same time of providing a façade free of maintenance.
The proposal's formal language is a consequence of the site's dynamics (horizontality), the rhythm (windows) and proportions (clock tower) of the existing building as well as a result of a careful light and energy study in order to gain the highest efficiency required by the competition's brief. The building has zero consumption thanks to passive ventilation and by strategic positioning of shaders and photovoltaic panels.
The materiality of the building stretches on the ground perpendicular to the South façade to the canal. By this action we connect the proposal to the water by creating a small dock and the beginning of a quay along the canal. The result is a perfect melting of the new building in the city.