Contest for CEZEMAT

Cezemat (Centrum Zaawansowanych Materiałów i Technologii) organized a contest for his new laboratory in Warsawa in 2011. IDOM made a proposal for the contest, composed in 3 blocks. The first block is the parking, the second is the administrative building and the third is the laboratory. Between the first and second block, we propose the main entrance as a green garden. The three blocks were covered with a light structure for 2 main reasons. Avoid the HVAC machines work under very low temperatures and allow “life” around the buildings like meeting points to have  a green house garden. I’ve been in charge in the design and parametrization of the envelope.

The design process consisted in relax a surface, similar as Gaudí did in his form finding experiments. Instead of use chains and sand loads I used a mathematical model implemented through scripting. The interested thing in this step is when a surface is “relaxed” the tension on the surface is closer to “0” therefore the model is structurally stable. So you don’t need too much material (steel or aluminium) to make the structure. In the second step the surface was modified by wind and load forces, similar as a bubble soap floating in the wind. Although the surface is modified and is pushed by loads the tension is still closer to 0.
In the second step the surface is frozen and through scripting was analysed. We choose an hexagon pattern to build the structure and each hexagonal cell could be a transparent pillow, a ventilation pillow or photo-voltaic panel. The behavior of the each cells depends on its location on the surface and the sun incidence during the hottest and coldest day in the year.

We not win, but we got a high punctuation for the architecture and concept. our weak point was the budget to develop the building, but no the price of the construction. A contest is a complex balance among concept, graphic, technique and budget. Nevertheless the team was happy for the result.


Sequence of the surface relaxation with the wind loads. Some of the results are not possible.
warsawa_srfRelax 2

Sun incidence on the surface, red correspond where the sun hits often.

Vector calculus on the surface.

Section of the surface.

Exterior View.

Interior View, from the garden in the main entrance.

Panel 2, exaplin the design process.

Leave a Reply