The addition of an extra floor consisting of office space and new laboratories to the CTC InnoVenton, an applied chemical technological research facility in Port Elizabeth, was completed in 2011. The new space, equipped with state of the art equipment, is currently being used for research on Biofuel.
The project brief called for a design which would challenge the standard perception of research facilities and scientists in general and this was achieved by adding colour and exciting elements to both the exterior and interior of the building. One such example is the use of bold colour to highlight the entrance and increase the legibility of the building while assisting visitors in finding the entrance.
Users of the building were afforded a break from artificial lighting with the use of nature by highlighting the surrounding gardens. This was done by situating the high circulation route staircase next to a panel of windows facing the front garden. Passive ventilation principles and light shelves were also introduced in order to increase energy efficiency while staying within the client’s budget.
The final result is a 1950’s modernist building transformed into a contemporary high-tech research facility which is functional while enhancing the wellbeing of the user.