Large-scale laboratory

The new building for research facilities within concrete and materials research belongs to DTU Civil Engineering, a DTU department that has several buildings at its disposal in the first quadrant at Campus Lyngby north of Copenhagen.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix

The new building sits well between the other buildings, and on the sloping terrain. The architecture is rational and stringent, yet nevertheless distinguished by numerous fine concrete and steel details. A building that outwardly conveys the laboratory’s functional requirements, but also how an understanding of materials can lead to elegant solutions.

A high, central hall forms the centre of the building, where researchers and students are able to engage in large-scale and unconstrained development work and testing. From the hall, there is access to smaller laboratories, workshops, changing rooms and storage facilities, that take the form of concrete box-like structures in the courtyard or placed underground. The main entrance, which is located above the floor level of the hall, has facilities which are primarily intended to enable students to gather.

Open and connected

From the uppermost level, it is possible to follow what is happening down in the hall, and the transparency between the two levels and the different functions is a distinct architectural feature of Building 130. A concrete sitting/staircase with wooden treads connects the two levels. It is also possible to see into the hall from here as well – and vice versa.

Throughout the building, the choice of materials reflects a harmonious balance between functionality and aesthetics. Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool panels have been selected for their sound-absorbing properties and installed on the hall ceiling and upper wall surfaces, as well as in the numerous laboratories leading off the hall. Moreover, the pale grey Troldtekt panels are used as a unifying element between all the laboratories, and ensure that employees have a working environment where the acoustics are in focus.