Honorable mention – Next7 2015 Competition
As human beings continued to evolve, genes of different individuals became focused on perfecting one quality. This meant humans went from being an evolved mammal that was somewhat a jack of all trades to being masters of specific traits. This led to wide spread research into genetic modification. Laboratories were opened in all major cities to find a way to genetically modify human genes.
A laboratory in Manchester, England was the first to develop a special serum that could temporarily modify human genes with causing any long lasting effects.
Scientists were then tasked with making this serum available to the public and the first genetic modification centre was opened in Manchester, England. The site of the new GM centre was chosen to be close to the centre of the city to encourage large human traffic. A carpark located on Chorlton Street was demolished for the construction. The site is encompassed by buildings on all four sides, with the main city centre and business towers to the north. This was to hopefully encourage office goers, tourists, shop owners etc. to visits the building.
The site receives a large amount of natural light to ensure that the scientists that would be working in the building are subject to a well-lit environment. The site holds much historic significance as being the bus station for Manchester in the past as well as a carpark. It was the last carpark that was still erect in England before its demolition. A business building towers over the site on the North West side. The site was also ideal for the genetic modification structure due to the climate and average temperature of the area. As these serums need to be stored at certain conditions. The site was also ideal as it was a large space in the middle of the city which is next to impossible to find in the world due to the never-ending modernisation of building design and construction.
The site is also located very close to all the tourist attractions of the middle of the city.
The building is designed to be freely accessible by the public and therefore the entirety of the structure is placed on the individual structures that hold up canisters of different serums. The serums come in 5 bright colours and can easily be identified in their glass containers. Due the load of the canisters the rest of structure and facade is designed to be lightweight, implementing a space frame structure for the floors.
The final design serves to separate the laboratories (first floor) and the open ground floor for public use. The public access the serums from specific booths that are located in the middle of the building’s primary structure. Different canisters come down at different floor levels, deforming the spaceframe of the last floor they breach. This allows scientists working on different serums to be allocated different floors to allow a systematic workflow. The translucent facade provide a semi private to private space within the floors. Public users can freely enter the booth of their choice and use the serum. Four lifts provide circulation for the scientists and staff through the height of the building.
The design conception began with the accommodation of the large canisters of serum. They had to be safely stored and had to be in constant flow for public use. Therefore, the canisters are placed above ground to ensure constant serum flow.
The next step was to design a structure that would hold up the canisters, floors, roofs and lift cars. Space frames were chosen and deformed at certain places on every floor to define zones.
Finally, the light weight translucent facade was chosen to create spaces with diffused light. These facades are of a modern polymer that absorbs heat and insulates the building when needed.