Posted: 16 Nov 2013 05:23 PM PST
The fourth extension of the German National Library in Leipzig is bold and unconventional. According to the architect, Gabriele Glöckler: "The concept 'envelope – cover – contents' translates the function of the building into architecture. "Function creates form", is the architect's motto. "The contents are protected by a compact cover around the repository area. A lighter envelope forms the exterior shell and connects the separate areas", she explains. "Allusion is made to both Leipzig's musical tradition and the German Music Archives by using façade elements in graduated tones of red to interpret Bach's Goldberg Variation number four." The first two annexes stretch out behind the façade of the German Library, built in 1912 by Oskar Pusch. In 1982, however, the GDR, set a dry, windowless complex consisting of five high towers slightly apart from the historic building. The new extension now closes this gap and links the neo-classical rectangular building, rendered less severe by Viennese art-nouveau nuances, with the book towers to form a whole entity. The new extension means the three very different building styles now interact with one another. An overall surface of 14.000 square meters now shelters the German Music Archive, previously in Berlin, and the German Book and Writing Museum. The enormous surface area is spread over nine floors, three of which were built underground. Back on the surface, the transparent extension is truly compelling. The ground floor serves as permanent or special exhibition space. Above the vitreous foyer the four main floors are clad with a silver envelope made of ALUCOBOND®.
+ Project facts
Project: Leipzig, Germany
+ All images courtesy Gabriele Glöckler | Photographer: Maix Mayer
Posted: 16 Nov 2013 05:06 PM PST
MET Studio has been commissioned as the lead exhibition designer for a 2,000 sq m Environmental Education Centre to be housed within the new Sludge Treatment Facility in the Tuen Mun district of Hong Kong, which will be the world's largest of its kind on completion.
The project is being funded by the Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government and will be designed, built and operated by a joint venture of Veolia Water and Veolia Environmental Services. The joint venture client subsequently commissioned MET Studio (on a 'design & build' contract with partner Hypsos Leisure Asia Ltd) to create the majority of the interior attractions within the centre that adjoins the plant, such as an interactive exhibition gallery, a visitor gallery, a lecture theatre and a café.
The EEC will also include an indoor spa and pools (heated by energy generated by the plant), a rooftop garden, as well as landscaped gardens and a specially-created habitat for water birds, making the venue a valuable resource destination for the whole community. Free electric shuttle buses will bring visitors to the facility from Tuen Mun town centre.
About the Sludge Treatment Facility
The background to the plant's genesis lies in improvements made to Hong Kong's water quality over the past two decades, involving the upgrading of the region's sewage plants. The sludge had been disposed of in landfill sites, although, with all available sites expected to be full by or before 2020, this solution is evidently not sustainable. Instead, this new, environmentally-friendly facility will now
dispose of sludge using state-of-the-art thermal incineration technology. Upon completion, the plant will treat up to 2,000 tons a day, reducing the region's sludge deposits by 90%, with a hugely positive impact on landfill usage. At the same time, a waste-to-energy policy means that the thermal energy generated from incineration will both power the plant, fully meeting its energy needs, with surplus electricity to be exported to the power grid. The facility will also include a seawater desalination plant to produce potable and process water for the needs of the site. Wastewater will be treated and reused on site with no effluent discharges into the sea, whilst all emissions from the facility are safe and compliant with stringent European standards.
The new building – designed by Vasconi Associes Architectes – will have a wave-form and a streamlined architectural design to reflect the sea view in front, with ridge lines at the back ensuring the building blends well with its surrounds with maximum use of natural light.
About the Environmental Education Centre
The new Environmental Education Centre will serve as a platform for positive engagement with the people of Hong Kong and with relevant professionals by showcasing the technological advances, scale and benefits of the facility to the environment, in order both to educate the public and to engage with the community. The exhibition area within the centre will allow visitors to learn about the sludge treatment process through interactive exhibits, as well as being able to view the plant operation through a dedicated Visitor Gallery.
MET Studio's scope of works includes the design of the reception and holding areas on the ground floor; a 300 sq m interactive gallery explaining the background to the plant, the process and the need for a comprehensive waste disposal strategy and a café which links to the interactive gallery and a raised bridge walk-round path giving views into the process area, punctuated by info-exhibits.
The facility is a community facility and will be open to the public (who will be asked to register online in advance of visiting). MET Studio has therefore designed everything with a focus on group interpretation, so that guides can tailor the story to the relevant audience sector. For example, they can include more technical descriptions for visiting engineers or describe things in a less technical
way for school and public visitor groups. The exhibits in the gallery are designed to be aids for the guide, but will also work if activated by small unguided groups or individual visitors.
Exhibits will include interactive models, physical interactives, multi-screen display (some on transparent screens backed onto the window), an immersive multi-sensory theatre, exhibits using air and water and even an exhibit that uses 3D projection mapping onto a pop-up book to tell the story. The design will be open and clear to navigate with lots of natural light.
Neil Williams concluded:
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