Architects: Caramel Architekten
Location: Linz, Austria
Structural Engineering: Werkraum ZT gmbh
User: Johannes Kepler University; Linz
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus
From the architect. Two years after the opening of building 1 and with roughly one year to go until building 3 is completed, the johannes kepler university in Linz has inaugurated building 2 of the new, ultra-modern science park, an architecturally eye-catching ensemble equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
As in building 1, the interplay of angles and bends in the overall building, outer shell, and interior spaces has been extended seamlessly to this structure, however, in building 2 not only the axes but the slopes of the roof are affected. As viewed from the south, building 1 angles to the left, whereas building 2 bends off to the right. at first the roof takes a slightly downward slope, but toward the north it slants steeply upward from the bend. the rear edge of building 2 rises a full story above its older brother. As in building 1, the special-purpose spaces on the ground floor merge into the terrain at the north end, and the surfaces have been planted with vegetation.
Whereas almost two thirds of building 1 seem to hover above the ground, building 2 stands firmly on a two-story base that houses a number of seminar rooms.
Vertical connection channels “pierce” the upper floor space, flooding the circulation and combizone with light and offering communication opportunities, meeting areas, and a modern “science-work climate” for:
- The institute of plastics engineering
-The mathematics and statistics departments
-The radon institute of the austrian academy of sciences
- Mathconsult gmbh
-The recendt research center for non-destructive testing gmbh
- And the kompetenzzentrum holz gmbh
Communication comes first
This means establishing ties with the existing university campus, the adjacent residential buildings, and the natural surroundings and allowing a rapport between each of the new buildings as well as within the building units themselves. In a seemingly playful way the buildings interact both in plan and section with their surroundings and the adjacent residential buildings via height differences and bends and in this way avoid an inflexible building structure. By crouching into the slope and having the entrance area beneath the street level, they establish a ground-floor link to the existing university campus.
The landscape flows into the grounds – between, over, and through the structures with their partially hovering office wings – and merges with the buildings, forming a new interpretation of the campus.
The spacious interior atria tie the floors together and allow light to flood this space all the way down to the lower floors, in this way inspiring a new science-work climate of communication.
Due to the large spans and the partially necessary bridge constructions or the resulting deflections, the parapets are not arranged randomly; instead, the largest ones have been placed to precisely coincide with the points of greatest deflection. In this way the outward impression is diversified, while the interior is marked by heightened individuality, thus creating an interplay that is enhanced by the use of lamellae of varying thicknesses which have been set at various intervals.
Ultimately, even the individual elements of the façade communicate with each other...