Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Architecture That Inspires

(Above) CSET Building, Ningbo, China: This is the new research center for Nottingham University (click for larger view)(Above) CSET Building, Ningbo, China (click for larger view)

(Above) CSET Building night view, Ningbo, China (click for larger view)

The building you see here is the new campus of Nottingham University in Ningbo in the heart of the Zhijiang district of China. The Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) will focus on the diffusion of sustainable technologies such as solar power, photovoltaic energy, wind power and so forth. The building will accommodate a visitors centre, research laboratories and classrooms for masters courses. The pavilion stands in a large meadow alongside a stream that runs through the campus. It’s design is inspired by Chinese lanterns and traditional wooden screens.

The facade folds dramatically to create a dynamic shape. The building is entirely clad with a double skin of glass with screen printed patterns evoking historical buildings of the area. The appearance of the building changes from day to night.

The design employs various environmental strategies. A large rooftop opening brings natural light to all floors of the building simultaneously creating a flue effect to allow efficient natural ventilation and geothermal energy is used to cool and heat the floor slabs. The building has won numerous design awards.

Mario Cucinella Architects design architecture that, through research, the use of innovative technologies, and professional skill, embodies an ideal of architectural quality integrating environmental sustainability, ethics and a positive social impact.

MCA was founded in 1992 in Paris and in Bologna in 1999 and is a company with solid experience at the forefront of contemporary design and research. Partners Mario Cucinella, and Elizabeth Francis lead an international team of architects, engineers and designers.

Sustainable building design and the rational use of energy is one of the central concerns in MCA’s work and research. The environmental quality of designs is analyzed and developed using specialized software and model testing in order to produce buildings of architectural quality with state of the art energy performance.

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