The Kilachand Center is designed as a flexible, interdisciplinary research environment to accommodate current scientific research and offer easily adaptable space for yet-to-be-determined explorations. In a radical departure from conventional practice, its main mechanical spaces are located neither on the roof (where their unsightly bulk would be visible from the street) nor below grade (where they would be susceptible to flooding), but on levels two and three. From there, services are distributed efficiently to the laboratory floors above, which enjoy wide views of the city and the river.
Rather than separating energy-intensive core laboratories from less energy-intensive spaces by floor, each floor is zoned to accommodate low, medium and high intensity areas. Doing so allows ease of movement from computational labs and offices to high-intensity program spaces, increasing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration on every floor.
Crystalline and Opaque
The Kilachand Center is a deceptively simple building volume, articulated simultaneously as both intangibly crystalline and impassively opaque. The building’s skin employs large, glass fiber-reinforced concrete fins and panels to dramatic visual effect. From a distance, it appears entirely solid. Approached obliquely, the gaps between the fins progressively increase, momentarily rendering the skin almost entirely reflective, before the phenomenon reverses itself and the building’s solidity reasserts itself.
Photography: © Chuck Choi; © Keitaro Yoshioka