Carnegie Mellon University
BackgroundLocated on the Carnegie Mellon University campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Scott Hall was opened in Spring 2016. The University commissioned architects Michelle LaFoe and Isaac Campbell, along with their OFFICE 52 Architecture Design Team, to design the Nanoscience, Bioscience and Energy Technologies Building for the College of Engineering. The architects were briefed to embody Carnegie Mellon’s interdisciplinary culture to create a progressive, collaborative research center at the forefront of advanced nanotechnology and complex engineered systems.
TaskThe architects were given a brief to design a low-energy, high-tech landmark building with an external structure and appearance that captures the scientific work carried out inside its laboratories. Particularly important were the university’s strict sustainability and energy-saving goals. A series of solar studies, thermal comfort analysis, and energy modelling demanded an optimum arrangement of façade elements.
SolutionFollowing a series of light and color studies with SCHOTT NARIMA® glass, the architects chose SCHOTT NARIMA® Orange with a silvery-blue reflection for the vertical sun protection slats and SCHOTT NARIMA® Blue-Gold for the horizontal. Using SCHOTT’s unique dichroic glass not only gives the building a stunning visual depth and constantly changing color patterns, it’s a key element in an architectural solution that exceeds energy performance goals to create one of the most energy-efficient laboratory buildings in the USA.
SCHOTT NARIMA® dichroic glass was used to add visual depth and fascinating color changes
The color of SCHOTT NARIMA® changes depending on the viewer's position and intensity of sunlight
The architects also chose SCHOTT NARIMA® glass for its strength, UV stability and thermal resistance
Glass with the power to inspireSCHOTT NARIMA® provides architects and designers with a unique visual effect that reflects some colors while allowing others through. Colors change depending on the viewer’s position and the intensity and position of the sunlight to create exteriors that fascinate and delight. An added benefit for many buildings such as Scott Hall is that the dazzling color display prevents birds from accidentally flying into the glass.
Linking science and architectureAlongside the transmittance and reflection of light contributing to the building’s energy efficiency, the use of SCHOTT NARIMA® answers the University’s original brief to “metaphorically link concepts of nanoscience, scale and photons to the architecture”. Using dichroic glass resulted in the building resembling a geometric representation of a photonic quasicrystalline structure – a key optical material used in nanoscience.
An award-winning team
For the Carnegie Mellon University project, SCHOTT teamed up with architects Michelle LaFoe and Isaac Campbell, and their OFFICE 52 Architecture team based in Portland, Oregon. The resulting structure won a number of awards, including the American Architecture Award and the International Architecture Award.
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