Client: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Place: Seoul, South Korea
Date: 2019 Competition
Type: Education, Labs
Budget: KRW 40,280 million
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev, Claudia Baquedano, Carmen Gil Barbero
The massing of the building seeks maximum compactness as a means to environmental and financial efficiency. The building form resonates with the iconography of the Life-Sciences: Test-tubes, petri-dishes, pills, tanks or bottles are part of the project’s iconographic universe.
The unitized fully glazed façade panels will be fritted to hide thermal insulation and provide solar shading. We propose to use electrochromic glass coating for solar shading in the non-fritted areas. The roof enclosure will be made with steel-tube and single-layer ETFE to provide optimal performance as a greenhouse skin and avoiding dust deposition.
The building is designed for maximum flexibility. 7 identical floorplates with an 8.7m external bay surround a central atrium connecting all floors visually and physically through an open stair aim to provide flexibility and intensify the exchanges between all members of the scientific community. The main structure will be built with low-carbon, reinforced concrete flat slabs, exposed to benefit from thermal mass cooling. A radiant floor system will act as the main temperature control system in the building.
The offices/labs floors are entirely flexible, with 4,50m floor to floor height. Two vertical circulation cores on each side of the atrium connect all floors. A 6m-wide central atrium will bring light and ventilation to all the informal meeting and relaxation areas located in the center of the plan, on both sides of the atrium, interconnected visually and physically through an open stair designed as a glass-built DNA double helix.
The atrium will have a fundamental role in integrating the community, but also will provide natural ventilation to the public spaces, working as a natural ventilation shaft, naturally extracting the air through buoyancy, In the winter, the atrium will be heated by the greenhouse hot air, while in the summer it will act as a ventilation shaft. The atrium will be surrounded by planters along the edge to create an environment characterized by natural life. The vegetation will absorb CO2 to improve indoor air quality and provide adiabatic cooling.
We propose to install a non-climatized greenhouse at the top of the building as a unique public space suitable to a building dedicated to the life-sciences. The Biosphere will provide space for casual meeting and relaxation while acting as a climate regulator for the building. The biosphere will offer nearly 1200m2 of garden relaxation and casual meeting spaces in a garden to enjoy in all seasons.