A serpentine design for a specialised research laboratory in a four level building includes a double courtyard scheme providing a reduced facade area, reduced solar load, optimised circulation and functionality, and extra void space. The key design drivers were circulation, communication, functionality, flexibility and sustainability.
As a place of innovation laboratory buildings have to be flexible and adaptable to changes in the research and development process. Higher automation, for example, lowers the density of working spaces, promoting communication between the scientists.
A range of formal and informal meeting spaces was provided and an atria supports communication via views both horizontally and vertically. The different functions and procedures of scientific work are synchronised with a differentiated space layout, with various zones for the specific steps in research. There are two separate and autarkic cycles for male and female staff that share common facilities at their boundary point.
LAVA worked with the Fraunhofer Institute on the design of the laboratory modules for the Prince Sultan Advanced Technology Research Centre Laboratory, part of the King Saud University.