forschungsgebäude öaw, graz, austria
Research teams of several scientific backgrounds are gathered together in this new complex, which amongst other things had to stimulate interaction between its users. In connection with changing use and its possible future value as a normal office, the building also had to have a flexible layout. The greatest challenge lay, however, in accommodating the vast amount of uniform offices and laboratories in a building that should nevertheless be stimulating and spacious. Accordingly, the ground plan was formulated in a way that four elongated strips would form two unequal, compound crosses. Three of the arms of the crosses are linked together at or near their ends, so that they encompass a triangular atrium. The building appears to stretch out inquisitively in all directions. Both the corridors and the labs have a view of the outside world. The atrium is covered with glass, contains the main staircase and the galleries, and functions as the vibrant centre of the building. Coffee rooms containing bar furniture are situated at the extremities of the arms of the crosses.