Fracture surfaces as inspiration

Researchers at DTU Lyngby Campus have a new building for conducting their geological and geotechnical experiments under the auspices of DTU Civil Engineering. The ample use of glass offers unrestricted views of what is taking place inside.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in educational institution
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The DTU campus is being extensively developed and expanded at the moment. In designing Building 129, the old glass corridors connecting buildings 118 and 119 have been transformed into a proper building. Both facades on Building 129 consist of glass panels, which signals a high degree of openness, while the views of the research activities taking place inside add vibrancy to the campus environment.

Building 129 is a new and original take on the surrounding architecture, and blends in well with the green spaces and the campus as a whole. The laboratories are located along the facades, while an area in the middle allows people to cross from one side of the building to another and access the lower level via a central staircase.

Peace and calm to work
The building houses the university’s geological and geotechnical research activities, which is evident from all the experiments in progress that can be seen from the pedestrian zone. The stairs are a soft, yellow colour, and the only coloured element in the otherwise very simple laboratory environment. Round skylights above the staircase add welcome variation to the spatial illumination. The other materials are concrete, grey linoleum and grey, Troldtekt rhomb acoustic panels.

Generally, the different colours and structures have been chosen for their associations with geology, soil and fracture surfaces. Troldtekt acoustic panels are a natural product with unique sound-absorbing properties. The rhomboid shape of the panels adds a special look to the ceiling and can be perceived as discreetly decorative or as a unifying element making the laboratories and the pedestrian zone blend into one another.