London-based Architects of Invention just unveiled plans for the new National Science and Innovation Center of Lithuania in Kaunas, the nation's second-largest city. The extended double-cantilevered building rests on a grassy hill, and it integrates pedestrian connections while preserving existing parklands.
The design treats public spaces as singular open-space volumes. The main entrance hall is arched with a spherical planetarium suspended overhead, while the south hall is a double-height open space for large-scale exhibition. A long-span cantilevering volume is built using structural steel fabricated into box and beam sections that make it appear to float in mid-air.
Prefab modular steel elements that make up the structural backbone of the project are efficient and quick to construct and require less labor. The project, which aims for a LEED certification, uses advanced ventilation systems and the adjacent river to cool the building. Solar panels embedded into the facade provide clean energy.