Green haven for researchers

Monday 31 Oct 2011

Modelling and simulation centre beams with green light amidst the forest

METU MODSIM is a 4,200 m2 office building situated in a university campus, used as a research facility for both academic staff and professionals of the private sector. The building is located on a 5,200 m2 stretch of land surrounded by a poplar forest.

The façade is made of glass panels, painted with enamel in five different shades of green, which are carried through an aluminium skeleton. They are placed on the façade randomly without any consideration of hierarchies in colour distribution; a particular green tone does not have certain significance over another, and the diversity of greens in the façade is achieved in this way.

The glass panels reflect sunlight in the inner spaces, making the interiors as green as the exterior. At night, when the lights are on inside, an onlooker may observe the building from far away due to its vibrant green colour. In this way, the building becomes a green sculpture in the forest.

While keeping up with the site's contextual relations, the building also displays its own unique identity. Its strict and rectangular-shaped geometry renders it possible to be seen from every point in the forest.

This rectangular geometry has a distinctive plan development made up of architectural elements which are intertwined around an atrium. They are: 1. Outer steel frame that carries sun shading elements 2. Aluminum façade that carries enamel painted glass in five different colours of green 3. Working spaces 4. Service elements like storage, shafts and chimneys 5. Circulation corridor 6. Atrium void 7. Mirror coated pool base in the middle atrium.

These elements are intertwined layer by layer, from the outside to the inside, and eventually surround the inner atrium. Every architectural element is autonomous whilst existing within a totality. The layered plan configuration resembles Turkish carpet designs, in which different graphic elements are intertwined layer by layer.

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