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Laboratories: The Latest Architecture and News

AD Classics: Salk Institute / Louis Kahn

16:30 - 11 January, 2019
AD Classics: Salk Institute / Louis Kahn, © Liao Yusheng
© Liao Yusheng

This article was originally published on August 27, 2017. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

In 1959, Jonas Salk, the man who had discovered the vaccine for polio, approached Louis I. Kahn with a project. The city of San Diego, California had gifted him with a picturesque site in La Jolla along the Pacific coast, where Salk intended to found and build a biological research center. Salk, whose vaccine had already had a profound impact on the prevention of the disease, was adamant that the design for this new facility should explore the implications of the sciences for humanity. He also had a broader, if no less profound, directive for his chosen architect: to “create a facility worthy of a visit by Picasso.” The result was the Salk Institute, a facility lauded for both its functionality and its striking aesthetics – and the manner in which each supports the other.[1,2]

© Liao Yusheng © Liao Yusheng © Liao Yusheng © Liao Yusheng + 20

Snøhetta Designs Planetarium and Interstellar Cabins in Norwegian Forest

14:00 - 2 May, 2018
Snøhetta Designs Planetarium and Interstellar Cabins in Norwegian Forest, Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes
Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes

Snøhetta have released images of their proposed planetarium and visitor’s center for Norway’s largest astronomical facility. Nestled in a dense forest 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of Oslo, the scheme features a new 16,000 square foot (1,500 square meter) planetarium, and “interstellar cabins” mimicking small planets.

The facilities seek to offer a range of scientific activities to be experienced by the public, including astronomy, sun studies, and natural science, permitting the exploration of the night sky, and the Northern Lights.

Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes + 9

Miba Architects' University of Cyprus Medical School Proposal Combines Lab and Social Space

13:00 - 13 March, 2016
Miba Architects' University of Cyprus Medical School Proposal Combines Lab and Social Space, Exterior Rendered View. Image © Erik Gutierrez
Exterior Rendered View. Image © Erik Gutierrez

A proposal by Miba Architects and Calderon‐Folch‐Sarsanedas Architects has received 2nd prize in an international competition to design the new medical school for the University of Cyprus. The project proposes a “campus within a campus,” combining the strict bio-climatic regulations of a research lab with a social space for learning. Read more after the break.

Laboratory Design: It's Time for a Breakthrough

00:00 - 14 November, 2013
Laboratory Design: It's Time for a Breakthrough, Cern, The Globe of Science and Innovation. Image Courtesy of smartglassinternational.com
Cern, The Globe of Science and Innovation. Image Courtesy of smartglassinternational.com

As science continues to propel forward, it seems that the architecture to support scientists and their advancements is falling behind. The problem of laboratory design was recently brought up in an article by The Financial Times' Edwin Heathcote, who cited labs around the world, from Mendelsohn's Einstein Tower to Cern's giant timber globe, as great examples of an architecture of collaboration and experimentation. If some of our greatest discoveries today are often happening in mundane environments, what would happen if the architecture of labs and offices began to support and inspire innovation? Read the full story here.

AD Classics: The Einstein Tower / Erich Mendelsohn

01:00 - 14 July, 2013
AD Classics: The Einstein Tower / Erich Mendelsohn, © Gili Merin
© Gili Merin

The Einstein Tower, designed by the German architect Erich Mendelsohn, is one of the best-known examples of German expressionist architecture. Designed as an amorphic structure of reinforced concrete, Mendelsohn wanted the tower to represent as well as facilitate the study of  Einstein’s radical theory of relativity – a groundbreaking theorem of motion, light and space.

More on this expressionist monument after the break...

Photo by R. Arlt via via www.aip.de Photo by R. Arlt via via www.aip.de via www.aip.de © Gili Merin + 21

The World’s First Relocatable Research Center Opens in Antarctica

00:00 - 8 February, 2013
The World’s First Relocatable Research Center Opens in Antarctica, © Anthony Dubber
© Anthony Dubber

This bizarre looking creature is the world's first relocatable research facility. Located on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, the Halley VI Research Station was officially opened on Tuesday, more than one hundred years after Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic expeditions.

More on the building and its uncommon features after the break...