Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Chemistry lab in Aachen, Germany by kister scheithauer gross architekten und stadtplaner GmbH (ksg)
May 14th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: kister scheithauer gross architekten und stadtplaner GmbH (ksg)
After a preceding VOF procedure in 2011, kister scheithauer gross (ksg) implemented the new ‘Chemiepraktikum’ building for RWTH Aachen. The client is ‘Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW’. The monolithic building functions as a cornerstone of the existing development and is thus decisively contributing to the formation of a ‘prestigious address’ of the Chemical Institute. Laboratory areas of about 1,500 m² have been provided on a gross floor area of 3,720 m². Since April 1, students at the Institutes of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry of RWTH Aachen can now carry out research and experiments at 160 state-of-the-art fume cupboards.
‘Only at first sight the building seems to be a solitaire. Its polygenic shape precisely reacts to the urban planning situation and maintains the context through to the detailing of the material quality and colour of the façade. Sculptural cut by the urban space, the plaster façade features a structure and flush punch windows in large metal frames, which form a contrast to the side façade. The building with a smaller floor area succeeds to achieve a new perception of the Chemical Institutes within the urban space’, architect Johannes Kister explains the design.
The building was executed with a plastered façade on top of a composite thermal insulation system. The differentiation of the sides of the building is done through a varied treatment of the plaster surface. This mineral final coat was partly finished manually with an irregular pattern, partly executed as a classic, smooth plaster surface. The windows are differentiated according to circulation and laboratory areas. In the foyers, which are laid out as lobby areas on every floor, and in the staircase, floor-to-ceiling heat and solar protection glazing sitting flush with the façade offers views of the city. The post-and-beam elements are framed with large anodized aluminum plates. From the outside, the laboratory areas are distinguished by recessed ribbon windows with external shading devices.
In order to maintain the flexibility of use of the “open space” laboratories, the ceilings were constructed as wide-spanning floor slabs with a thickness of 30 centimetres. In the south and north, solid cores accommodating secondary uses and staircases serve to brace the building. Loads are transferred to the ground by means of classic strip foundations.