White Arkitekter has designed the new building at the entrance of Johanneberg Science Park on the Chalmers University of Technology campus in Gothenburg, Sweden. The building, a new iconic landmark, will act as an incubator for the stimulation of ideas and innovations within the construction sector, as well as a catalyst for private, public and academic sector collaborations. The building is the initial project in phase one construction of a new neighbourhood surrounding Johanneberg Science Park on the university campus. It serves as a gateway between the university and the wider public, connecting the inner-city campus and the recreational area south of the site. The ambition is that it will become an open and welcoming hub for academics and also for the wider community.
As a current partner in the Johanneberg Science Park, White aspires to be an active participant in the development of the region’s construction sector. The building is the result of a unique partnering process between client, contractor and consultants, whereby all partners actively participated throughout the entire process. White advocates this type of cooperation, which results in inclusiveness, significant engagement and ultimately secures successful architectural results. White’s design is a two-part composition connected by a bridge symbolising the gateway between academia and society. The façade consists of window bands covered with double-functioning, surface-mounted panels; they can work as solar shading or, by rotating, can also collect and reflect sunlight back into parts of the building. The two buildings are rounded in form and oriented so that daylight is maximised in the spaces between them. Landscape surrounding the building is conceived as a green oasis where both vegetation and water become important elements.
Johanneberg Science Park’s dramatic shape and glass elevations facilitate social and cultural connectivity across the companies and organisations housed in its 8,200sqm of floor space. The interior is designed as a sequence of free-flowing spaces with the intention of bringing people closer together, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and creating an environment which fosters ideas. The ground floor, open to both tenants and students as well as the wider community, features furniture chosen for its flexibility – reflecting the project’s principles – to accommodate different types of meetings and create ample opportunity for social interaction.
The building tells the story of its construction: raw concrete surfaces, traces of earthworks, chalk, fingerprints, scuff marks and knocks received during the construction process, which are typically concealed, are left exposed revealing the building’s construction, tectonics and space. To echo the building’s exterior, golden hues dominate the interior spaces and furniture. The focal point is the free-standing steel staircase, which encourages chance encounters between tenants. Exemplifying the highest standards of environmental and economic sustainability, the building has a highly efficient envelope and features an innovative underground heat transfer system which significantly reduces energy requirements to an outstandingly low 30 kwh/m²/annum from the grid. The building’s form and façade optimise daylight penetration, while bands of tinted glass minimise solar gain. Sedum roofs located on various levels provide vital rainwater retention. Landscaping offers a place to reflect and recharge.
The building was designed to meet Sweden Green Building Council’s Miljöbyggnad GOLD certification, which it ultimately exceeded. The client and tenants agreed on a common sustainability programme which considered everything from the transport and materials used in construction, to the building’s environmental footprint. The landmark building at Johanneberg Science Park creates a workspace for 400 people; the collegial atmosphere generated by the building’s design and programming aims to appeal to and develop a much wider outreach.