Architectural masterpieces are sometimes confused with high end technology and huge economic capabilities. However, given the current trend of collective availability of resources and devices, construction industry should also follow the path of unified accessibility by all sections of our society. Going along such conscientious yet practical lines, Danish artists’ group N55 have collaborated with Copenhagen architect Anne Romme to design the SPACEPLATES Greenhouse Bristol. Envisaged as a innovative class room and growing space for horticulture students and their teachers at the South Bristol Skills Academy in Bristol, the project epitomizes the utilization of contemporary technology fused with simplistic constructional techniques.
Located within a zone defined by larger parking lots, the building is defined by its uniquely conceived form that is supposedly inspired by naturalistic organisms such as sea urchins. The dome like curvaceous facades were composed from 4 mm laser cut aluminum plates, slanted at all edges and then bolted together. These walls are deftly interspersed by acrylic windows mounted with EPDM rubber profiles, just like in older automobiles.
The fascinating element of this whole building is as we mentioned: its accessible modular scope. Developed as a lightweight, sturdy yet self supporting structure, the endeavor was achieved by usage of just some geometric considerations and digital fabrication. In fact, the design eschews all forms of complicated structural members or underlying lattices, in favor of a simple mechanical method that was achieved by just using hand tools.
However, in stark contrast to the facile construction process, the spatial nature of the greenhouse is evolved beyond the effortless form. The hexagonal spaces allude to a comprehensive climatic barrier that is integral to the structural system. Finally, the thin plate ‘skins’ also comprise of hardy materials that allow a continuous zoning pattern on the inside, without any requirement of pillars or other supporting members. This in turn insinuates enhanced circulation of users when taking classes and even growing plants in an expansive space.