This energy-efficient laboratory by architecture workplace GO Logic is clad in pale cedar to reference agricultural buildings discovered close to its site in a remote forest clearing in Michigan .
The Warren Woods Ecological Field Station was created by Maine-based GO Logic to accommodate the University of Chicago’s department of ecology and evolution, permitting researchers to commit time in an ecologically diverse habitat that contains diverse varieties of forest and prairie.
“The website harbors numerous varieties of habitat at present under ecological restoration, such as lowland hardwood forest, climax beech-maple forest and remnant-wet prairie,” stated the architects.
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“The field station enables research on biodiversity, evolutionary trajectories, genetic characterisation and ecological interactions among species in this habitat as effectively as botanical experiments in fenced test plots.”
The complex comprises a major field station creating, 3 cabins and a bathhouse.
A research laboratory and educational seminar spaces are contained in the field station, whilst the smaller sized structures situated along the edge of the forest provide overnight accommodation and amenities for up to 12 guests.
A crucial concern for the designers was to minimise the ecological influence of the buildings and attain a Passivhaus low-energy certification, which involved optimising passive solar acquire and incorporating hugely effective insulation.
Excess heat from the laboratory gear is distributed all through the building by heat transfer ducts, to maintain the interior warm in winter.
An airtight shell aids to retain this warmth, whilst the optimisation of all-natural light and ventilation reduces the use of artificial options.
“The style strategy for the field station was to produce a compact, hugely insulated creating shell that makes use of passive solar gains, resulting in a highly power-effective facility that will realise tremendous power savings more than the life span of the building,” said the architects.
The building’s position on the website is determined by the requirement to make the most of the all-natural light. The laboratory is situated on the northern edge to decrease its solar exposure and stop overheating.
Solar glazing along one particular side of the major seminar space is shaded by hinged steel sliding screens fitted to the exterior, which enable the quantity of light entering the interior to be controlled.
The vertical boards utilised to clad the buildings are produced from locally harvested untreated cedar that will steadily take on a silvery tone related to barns discovered in the surrounding location.
Internal supplies were selected to be robust and lasting, with the polished concrete floor slab also supplying a thermal mass that assists to regulate the interior temperature all through the year.
Ash boards cover a layer of acoustic installation applied to the underside of the sloping ceiling, adding a warm complement to the concrete and white walls.
A glass wall with a fritted white gradient separates the seminar space from the laboratory.
“The frit pattern transitions from strong at the bottom of the wall, to transparent at the best,” mentioned the architects.
“This gradient makes it possible for a strong visual connection from the lab back to the classroom space at eye level, while providing a visual barrier to the cluttered perform surfaces in the laboratory space,” they added.
The staircase that connects the ground floor with a seminar room and roof deck on the upper storey features open treads and a perforated metal screen.
Group meals can be cooked in a kitchen in the field station and eaten in a glazed sun porch that looks out towards the cabins and the forest.
Photography is by Trent Bell Photography.
Architect and contractor: GO Logic LLC.
Structural engineer: Albert Putnam PE
Mechanical engineer: Andrew J McPartland, PE, LEED AP
Civil engineer: John O’Malia, O’Malia consulting
Lighting designer: Peter Knuppel lighting design
Site supervisor: Michael Klinger
Web site strategy – Ground floor strategy – Very first floor plan – Elevations – Cabin elevations –