Winner of an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Awards competition, Christian Kerez, was nominated by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia to exhibit at the Swiss Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition. The architect and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) aims to investigate the possibilities — technically, as much as in our imagination — of how to think, build and experience architecture differently.
The irregular, knobbly form of Incidental Space originates from a small model built from sugar and dust, and then cast in plaster. Digital models in combination with virtual reality headsets were used while developing the form. The full-scale version is made from panels of sprayed fibre cement with a thickness of just two centimetres, and finished using plotting and milling techniques to replicate the form of the model.
An opening in the craggy fibre-cement form allows visitors to clamber inside the space, which – while completely artificially formed – alludes to structures found in geology and anatomy. "What we were looking for here is an openness in terms of meaning; it's not a symbolic space, it is not a referential space, it allows you to initiate a pure encounter with architecture," Christian Kerez said in an interview with dezeen magazine. "It was a combination of a physical model and also a very refined technology, and if you look at the result it is both very sophisticated but it's also very primitive," Kerez added.
“Incidental Space” will run until November 27, 2016 and is curated by art historian Sandra Oehy. About 60 countries will be represented at the Biennale with a pavilion. Holcim Switzerland, a member of LafargeHolcim, is the main sponsor of the Swiss Pavilion and developed white fiber cement used to build “Incidental Space”, the entire concrete sculpture.
At the opening of the exhibition, Chairman of Holcim Switzerland, Kaspar E A Wenger noted the use of LafargeHolcim white cement in the project. “The inimitable aesthetics of “Incidental Space” are based on a procedure enabling concrete to be applied in an extremely thin layer,” he said. For more detail on the collaboration and the project, watch the video to the left featuring Christian Kerez and Kaspar Wenger (only available in German).
More information at: “Incidental Space” A project by Christian Kerez at the Swiss PavilionSee more
This project to build a 15,000 square meter competence center includes research laboratories, office space, and generous training facilities. Perfectly circular atria cut through ceilings and floors crisscross the building, creating opportunities for employees and visitors to meet one another while also providing a sense of the building’s size from within.
Inner and outer loadbearing structures of the building are mutually-dependent, voids and passive solar heating allow a climate concept with a minimal technical installation with almost no core.
Christian Kerez radically separates the elevation and interior of a building while recognizing interdependencies. “Circular Voids: Energy-efficient office building, Holderbank, Switzerland” displays a series of outstanding features responding particularly well to most of the “target issues” for sustainable construction – merging architectural and technical considerations at the forefront of the discipline.
A competence center including research labs, office space and training facilities, with a state-of-the-art energy concept received the first-ever Holcim Awards Honorable Mention. Designed by Swiss architect Christian Kerez, the perfectly circular atria cut through ceilings and floors crisscross the building, creating opportunities for employees and visitors to meet one another while also providing a sense of the building’s size from within. As the project was designed to become the new Competence Center of Holcim, the jury decided to bestow a non-monetary honorable mention “respecting the exceptional value of the proposal”.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2014 for Europe » pour en savoir plus (French) » lesen Sie mehr (German) » más información (Spanish) » per saperne di piú (Italian) » подробнее (Russian) »
The project displays a series of outstanding features responding particularly well to most of the “target issues” for sustainable construction – merging architectural and technical considerations at the forefront of the discipline. The energy concept, for example, using cutting-edge surface geothermal heat-recovery, airboxes, and hybrid collectors, finds an appropriate spatial expression that would not be possible with standard systems. Here, architecture benefits from technological advances, without relinquishing its autonomy as an art form.
Notwithstanding the project’s contributions to the advancement of the field, the members of the jury unanimously agreed that it must be withdrawn from the competition due to a latent conflict of interest. The design was awarded first prize in an architectural competition organized by Holcim for its proposed new center for research and development in Switzerland. Considering the proximity between the company and the Holcim Foundation with its Awards competition, the jury decided to remove the project from the award procedure. Nonetheless, respecting the exceptional value of the project, the jury recommends that it should be conferred an “honorable mention”.See more
This project to build a 15,000 square meter competence center includes research laboratories, office space, and generous training facilities. Perfectly circular atria cut through ceilings and floors crisscross the building, creating opportunities for employees and visitors to meet one another while also providing a sense of the building’s size from within. Inner and outer loadbearing structures of the building are mutually-dependent, voids and passive solar heating allow a climate concept with a minimal technical installation with almost no core.
One of the central points of the design is the air ventilation and climate concept, which allows through adaption of the whole system indoor climate control with almost no lines. By reducing the need for technical installation, the structure has a dramatically reduced service core. The building will fall below the requirements of the 2,000 Watt and 1t-CO2 society.
The shape of the building has an excellent ratio of surface to volume. Together with the orientation of the building, the isolated and closed façade with around 60% glass, will reduce the use of energy to a minimum and will achieve the Swiss passive housing standard (Minergie P). The circular fire escape balconies will create shading in summer when the sun is high. During winter, the elevated balconies will let the sun into the building, warming up the interior with direct sunshine. All windows and doors have efficient sun protection.
The constant temperature of the building through the whole year will be achieved by activating the mass of the building (TABS). The concrete slabs are thermally activated and keep the basic temperature of each façade, which is possible with the two different ring line systems. The air ventilation of each space can be controlled depending on needs. The spaces will be controlled depending on the outdoor air volume and the air supply.
Climate control of the whole building with high efficiency waste heat recovery (centralized and decentralized) and a heat pump with a very low flow temperature ensures that the energy requirement can be reduced to an absolute minimum. A geothermal network with a temperature of 12°C will source the energy system. Photovoltaic panels are placed on the roof with an optimal direction to the south and 35° pitch, thereby meeting a significant proportion of annual energy consumption of all technical installations and the heat pump.
The building has a very good envelope to energy reference area ratio (Ath / AE < 1.0). The primary requirements Minergie P of the building envelope are fulfilled. There will be a detailed calculation optimization of the entire energetic system. According to the guidelines, the building will be ventilated with the efficiency of the entire technology optimized in the process of design. The opaque façade is built with a U-value of 0.16-0.13 W/m2K. The roof’s thermal insulation will allow a U-value of 0.08 W/m2K. The windows are equipped with triple glazing that has an average U-value of 0.85 W/m2K.Download project overview (PDF, 2.45 MB) »See more
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A competence center including research labs, office space and training facilities, with a state-of-the-art energy …
Christian Kerez radically separates the elevation and interior of a building while recognizing interdependencies. …
LafargeHolcim Foundation at Biennale Architettura 2016