The Natural Science Center in Bjerringbro was constructed in 2009 as an educational facility to inspire students in Denmark in the fields of science and engineering. Copenhagen-based NORD Architects designed the cylindrical science center with sustainability in mind, and it takes advantage of natural daylighting and rainwater collection. The project was recently honored by the World Architecture Community and it was also nominated for a 2011 Mies van der Rohe Award, which recognizes exceptional architecture in Europe.
NORD Architects, who won the award to design the science center in 2007, created a building that caters to students, children and the various programs that take place inside. The purpose of the Natural Science Center is to inspire children and young adults in the fields of science and engineering and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder. NORD designed the building to reflect that same spark of curiosity and to encourage exploration. To achieve that, the cylindrical building was built with various cutouts, terraces and openings, all of which offer views of the open landscape.
The exterior of the building is coated in u-glass profiles, which change character when weather and light conditions change. At night, the building lights up like a lighthouse. Inside, the building is mostly composed of concrete, which is practical and allows for easy cleanup after experiments. Daylighting plays a major role throughout the interior spaces, and rainwater collected from the roof is purified and used inside the building. The layout and floorplans of the entire four story building are open, allowing students to utilize the space as they need it during the course of their experiments. NORD Architects insist that ‘if a future scientists needs to make a hole in the concrete floor to carry out his experiment, it is quite all right’. NORD Architects was recently nominated for a Mies van der Rohe award.
Images © NORD Architects/Adam Mørk