Australia Commercial Design Trends Series AU Commercial Design Trends Vol. 33/1C - Page 79

Previous pages:The heart of the matter – the Discovery Room is bathed in natural light thanks to the sawtooth roof, which has each ‘tooth’ splayed slightly, creating a more dramatic look. Facing page:Row upon row, rack upon rack – the samples will stack up to the ceiling as the number of drill cores from other facilities and new bores grows over time. Below:The unmanned reception desk in the drill core library is backdropped by glass with the same patterning as seen on the weathered steel cladding. Inside, eight extended corridors of core sample racks reach up to the ceiling, taking up four fifths of the building. However, the feel at the core library is very far from a warehouse storage facility. “Much like with grand libraries of ancient times, we wanted the process of arriving at the formal entrance and then moving forward into the double- height core viewing room to be almost a ceremonial experience in itself,” says Thomson. A requirement for the viewing room, or Discovery Room as it’s called, was plenty of natural light – which is where the sawtooth roof comes in. Traditionally, sawtooth roofs were a way of bring- ing indirect natural light into a large building and the same applied here. We set each ‘tooth’ at a slightly different angle, a departure from the more tradi- tional version. This creates a very pleasing ceiling symmetry on the inside – as well providing optimum natural light to work under.” The high-volumed Discovery Room acts as a thermal chimney, too. With windows in the sawtooth roof open, heat draws up and out of the facility. In addition, the core samples themselves act as a heat sink, soaking up then releasing heat as required to keep the building cool or warm. Furthering the idea of a ceremonial experience, a first-floor walkway looks down on the viewing tables. “The facility is now being used extensively for education purposes and this high walkway was an easy way to let students see what was happening without the potential of touching and compromising the core samples – a rearranged rock or two might tell completely the wrong geological story.” search | save | share at