Text description provided by the architects. The project, located inside the Minhang Campus of Jiao Tong University, arose from a collaboration between the university and the Italian Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, for the realization of a center for the research and dissemination of low environmental impact building technologies. The building, named GEL (Green Energy Laboratory) is designed as a simple and compact body endowed with a central courtyard covered by an ample skylight.
This space, surrounded by walkway balconies, creates a gap capable of energy consumption optimization since it functions, during sunny winter days, as a heat collector, in the summmer period like a ventilation duct for the warm air that it produces internally. The first two levels of the building house laboratories, conference and control rooms, classrooms and exhibition spaces; the third and top floor includes two representative apartments enclosed in the shape of a “house” covered by a pitched roof made from photovoltaic panels. Every single environment enjoys the benefits derived from the maximization of ventilation and natural lighting through a dual-facing configuration: towards the court and towards the exterior where a double skin guarantees the control and the screening of sun rays on the glazed surfaces.