Spanish architect Santiago Parramón's RTA-Office recently received an Honorable Mention for their project Block 39, Center for the Promotion of Science in Belgrade, Republic of Serbia. The project was conceived and developed jointly by RTA-Office’s teams in the Barcelona and Shanghai offices. This center for the scientific promotion is presented as a driving force of renovation and development for the new public, cultural and college area in Belgrade, best known as Block 39.
Project Description from the Architects:
RTA-Office proposes a building which generates an event; an institutional, urban expression pole becomes an international lure. The studio seeks to achieve the occupation of the site and its transformation, to provide guidelines for a new fluid system that conditions it, democratize it, liberate it from the strict structures of urban organization and, finally, to give it back to the city. This way, a new a knowledge place is created while increasing the feeling of an open, continuous and fluid space, without any obstacles. A perceptive, dynamic environment.
The approach of the RTA-Office building has been disposed considering Serbia as a crossroad between the Occidental and Oriental cultures. And so, Block 39 is set out as a cross shaped form with a spectacular hall on its central space, which offers the visitors the possibility of choosing the route through the building. There are multiple accesses, but all of them meet at the spacious lobby. The temporary exhibitions and the employee’s area lie at the northeast, the bookshop at west and the Science Club and the permanent exhibitions at the east. Next to these last two we can find the restaurant, the planetarium and the conference hall, which are accessed through the Science Garden.
The result is the unique volume, shaped as an unitary whole. An elegant body of refined and winding lines that entwine each other. The Centre for the Science promotion Block 39, proposed by RTA-Office, is born thanks to the fusion between high tech modelling and the tri-dimensional space construction, the most possible delicate treatment in the harmonic integration with the landscape and a strong commitment in pro of the sustainability, the energy efficiency and the building’s fitting out.
The strong, material expression is obtained by using only one material, the black recycled steel, specially chosen for this building’s skin because of its elegant and suggestive, dark texture. In contrast, the steel on the cuts and cracks, exactly where the outside and inside meet, which was thought to give the building some points of natural light and an interesting selection of views.
The main characteristic of the centre is the space creation against the shape creation, leit motiv of the studio managed by Santiago Parramón. This way an exclusive builging is created, and so is an expression of a time and a forward-looking approach. Poetry and technology in pro of the human condition.
The point is for the building to be an environmental responsible place, profitable, salutary and, finally, a place where work can coexist with good life’s quality. RTAOffice’s proposition seeks to use the best practices in different projects and constructions phases to reduce meaningfully or remove completely the negative impact of buildings on the environment and trough this actions, to get the leadership on energy & environmental design in order to get the building certificated as “Green” LEEDTM by the Green Building Council WORLDGBS New York. The new building’s target of energy efficiency is to accomplish a 70% save of energy and the maximum classification of energetic efficiency “A”.
To get this, RTA-Office is concentrated in three fundamental pillars:
The economic benefits seek for the energetic and maintenance saves to recover the initial investment to plan and to build it. The project proposes the use of the most high technology in structures in situ of reinforced concrete (high resistance, long life and reduction of CO2 emissions in his production), the use of native materials to reduce the transport impact, the use of black, recycled steel, woods with FSC certificates and the consumption of green energy rewarding the energy buying to renewable energy suppliers. They are also included the energy, water and emissions saving. Besides this, the process of the building work industrialization will follow the strict guidelines of the current regulations for the European Community regarding construction wastes management.
Regarding this, the plan of the place and the reduction of drinkable water (through the collection and use of pluvial waters for the gardens irrigation and the public toilets and cistern refill) will be taken into account.
Quality of life
In Block 39, center for the promotion of Science, this quality is associated to the environmental quality. Because of this, the Health and Productivity standards (LEEDTM) will be looked after, including CO2 and COV detectors to maintain an excellent air quality.
All images courtesy of RTA-Office.
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