This building’s skin is designed to enhance daylight use throughout the entire, multi-story structure, while minimising heat gain
Behnisch Architekten has announced the ground-breaking for the AGORA – Cancer Research Centre located in Lausanne, within sight of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The new home of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) will bring together under one roof 400 researchers, scientists, doctors and clinicians who will work collaboratively and share their expertise. Enhanced communication within the new building is the major focus of Behnisch’s architectural scheme for AGORA, which is set for completion in 2017, and the building’s design addresses this concern in holistic architectural and functional ways.
AGORA will connect to an existing building on one side while creating a harmonious transition to nature on the other, without adversely affecting the site’s existing programmatic functions. Visual relationships both on the site and to the landscape beyond require a carefully defined building mass and the new building responds sensitively to these site conditions while sculpturally standing out from its heterogeneous surroundings.
Spatial qualities, directly perceived through daylight, proportion and materiality, will be equally visible in public areas and in the highly technical laboratories. Interdisciplinary communication and disciplinary communication, both central to successful research, are addressed in the organisation of the building’s floor plans. Communication areas are located throughout the new building, both inside and outside. The public level of the centre connects the campus’s existing pathways to the laboratory and office levels via interconnected communication areas and informal workplaces.
The AGORA building’s skin is designed to enhance daylight use throughout the entire, multi-story structure, while minimizing heat gain. In specific areas operable windows will allow natural ventilation, providing better individual climate control. A green roof tops the building adding additional recreation areas. Daylight enhancement systems, optimized sunlight protection, the responsible management of natural resources in the construction and maintenance of the building, as well as the use of both renewable and existing energy systems on site are preconditions for a successful and sustainable working environment. They, together with ISREC’s own research goals, establish a 21st Century image for the new facility.