Inspiria Science Centre By AART Architects

Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architects

By rethinking the framework for future learning environments Inspiria Science Center combines learning and architecture into an eventful science center. Designed with school children in mind, the science center inspires and educates through 70 interactive experiments and exhibitions. In addition one of the most sophisticated planetariums in northern Europe rounds off the educational offering. Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsEven the journey to the science center is a practical lesson in sustainability as most of the school children are taken to the science building by hybrid busses. Designed as a passive house including a wide range of eco-friendly solutions, the building design supports the activities within the science center. Daylight floods through the extensive glass facades and the many skylights into the exhibition halls and the two-storey atrium.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsIn addition a wastewater treatment plant recycles the water for use throughout the science center while a wind turbine and a solar cell panel generate electricity and a solar hot water system creates domestic hot water. These facilities are not just means to an end but are designed as a part of the exhibitions and they can be seen in action by the school children. Last but not least the science center is adapted to the surrounding landscape with the three wings radiating out from the two-storey atrium.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsThis distinctive architecture symbolises the cycle of nature and reflects the science building’s key topics: health, energy, and the environment. The science center has received several awards for its striking and sustainable architecture including the jury’s special at the Prime Property Awards 2012 which recognises the most sustainable real estate projects in Europe. Inspiria Science Centre is designed as one of the most advanced science centres in Northern Europe and is part of a long-term plan to make knowledge the most important asset of the Østfold Region in Norway.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsThis ambitious plan is reflected in the architectural aspiration, as the trifold form is designed as a communications platform merging the environment, energy and health. The interior program includes 70 interactive exhibitions, workshops and the most advanced planetarium in Northern Europe and Inspiria Science Centre is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors every year, mainly school trips, families and tourists. Longterm plans to include the community will be addressed by annually offering over 40,000 students of the area a free trip to visit the venue.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsA vibrant communications platform
Inspiria Science Centre combines communication and architecture into an inspiring and eventful whole, in order to provide new spaces for learning and supports the idea of sustainability as a window of opportunity to increase the quality of life between humans and the environment.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsInspiria Science Centre is thus designed as a passive house in close contact with both nature and the users, as glass enclosed wings extend from the focal circular atrium creating a dynamic heart to the building. By merging the architecture and the science centre’s focus on the environment, energy and health, Inspiria Science Centre is designed as a vibrant communications platform with a clear narrative.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsThe narrative permeates the building design, as the trifold form symbolises nature’s cyclical repetitions and spiral forms, which blend with the technology cycle expressed in the universal power of the circular basic form. The goal has thus been to create a striking building, which in itself constitutes an identity-laden branding of Inspiria Science Centre by uniting the activities of the science centre into a single concept.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsA unique fundraising process
Furthermore, Inspiria Science Centre is a unique example of how the public sector and the business community can come together and raise funds to enhance young people’s interest in science. The architecture has thus been a significant icon in the branding and fundraising process of the €28.5 million science centre. For example, the science centre has been granted €5 million in subvention from the Norwegian Government and €7 million in subvention from the business community.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsBesides, the science centre has received subsidies from the government-owned corporation Enova that promotes environmentally friendly redistribution of energy consumption in the Norwegian construction sector. As Trond Giske, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, has stated, it is also quite unique that 18 municipalities have gathered so significantly and engaged themselves in the project, while the business community has granted far more funds than in usual construction projects.
 Inspiria-Science-Centre-by-AART-architectsLocation: Bjørnstadveien 16, Graalum, Norway
Architect: AART architects
Engineer: Cowi A/S
HWS engineer: Multiconsult
Electro engineer: Yit A/S Photographer: Adam Mørk
Experience design: Expology
Landscape architect: AART architects
Interior design: AART architects
Size: 7,000 m2
Costs: € 28.5 million
Year: 2011
Client: Inspiria Eiendom
Photographys: Adam Mørk

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