Daniel Libeskind completes unique cosmology center for researchers at Durham University in England
The extremely talented Daniel Libeskind, creator of projects such as Sapphire and the Enigma Shelf, has recently delivered his most recent project – “Ogden Centre For Fundamental Physics” – a £11.5-million and outstanding centre for cosmology and astronomy researchers at Durham University in England.
The project aims to serve as a host office for the university’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy and the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation. The architecture of the building is far from being regular, it was conceived as a series of stacked and intersecting blocks with a skylit atrium at its center, resulting in a unique design.
Studio Libeskind also made sure to include wide, large windows to surround every flank of the building, ensuring that the 80 offices receive suitable amount of natural lighting. Wedge-shaped balconies were fixed behind the timber cladding and a terrace on the roof enables wonderful views of Durham city and its cathedral during meetings and breaks.
The cosmology centre’s spiral architecture, allows the coexistence of private work spaces along its perimeter in a multistorey interior space. Involved in a massive central skylight there is a high number of gathering spaces where researchers can spend a relaxing time.
In its interior, Studio Libeskind set special attention to the building’s sustainability, using Scottish larch as cladding to LED fixtures and renewable energy sources such as solar panels and ground source heat pump. “This project is an example of how to design a highly sustainable, dynamic building within tight programme requirements,” said Libeskind.
Exposed concrete columns and ceilings are coupled with warm-toned woodwork and frosted glass to make the interior of Durham University’s Cosmology Center, propitious to natural lighting. At the ground level of the building, a 100-seat seminar room is placed with socializing and events space for staff and students along side rooms for videoconferencing.
“The new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics represents a wonderful contribution to the unique architectural heritage of Durham City,” said Carlos Frenk, the director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology.