What distinguishes this project from its contemporaries is that, from the outset, the energy efficiency of the centre was a priority. One of the largest geothermal cooling systems in Europe is installed within the building, providing almost 80% of its cooling needs. The system makes use of ground water, which is pumped through a heat exchanger, supplying the building with air at 18C. When necessary, additional cooling can be provided by conventional means. The system is being monitored over the next three years as part of a research project.
The focus on energy efficiency was not to the detriment of the buildings’ aesthetics. Powder coated aluminium prisms of various colours have been used to create the effect of a dynamic building envelope, resulting in the colour of the building façade appearing to change as you pass by. In addition, stainless steel panels reflect the sky and create an illusion of depth. The geometric and linear external theme is balanced by the organic, free-flowing style of interiors, inspired by natural shapes and forms.