Three Danish architectural firms to design ESS research centre in Sweden

28 February 2013 (Last Updated February 28th, 2013 18:30)

Henning Larsen Architects, COBE and SLA have won an international competition to design the 100,000m² research centre for European Spallation Source (ESS), in Lund, Sweden.

ESS research centre in Sweden

Henning Larsen Architects, COBE and SLA have won an international competition to design the 100,000m² research centre for European Spallation Source (ESS), in Lund, Sweden.

ESS research centre is claimed to become the world’s largest and most advanced facility for neutron-based research.

The winning team, which also includes engineering firms Buro Happold, NNE Pharmaplan and Transsolar, beat off competition from Foster + Partners, Mecanoo, Benthem Crouwel, West8, HOK and BIG.

Upon completion, the centre will feature a more than 600m-long proton accelerator and a 180m-long hall in which the protons hit a target and send neutrons off to a number of halls with measuring instruments.

Planned to be located at the centre of the Oresund region, the centre will also feature laboratories, offices, a lecture hall and a visitors’ centre.

The facades on all laboratories and office buildings will be designed to create a relation between indoor climate, daylight and energy consumption.

Sustainable features of the project include rainwater management, where rainwater will be directed to low-lying areas to create a new wetland with lakes, bogs and meadows.

Henning Larsen Architects partner and architect Jacob Kurek said the centre will offer space for concentrated work and a place where researchers can meet other researchers.

"In the atriums found in the buildings, they will be able to meet each other informally, inspire each other, exchange ideas and share their knowledge," Kurek said.

Research at ESS is anticipated to start in 2019, while the entire facility is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

After completion, it is projected that between 2,000 and 4,000 researchers will use the facilities per year.

ESS CEO Colin Carlile said the centre will feature a symbolic building which will reflect the future importance of ESS in the European scientific landscape.

"The flexibility, human scale and campus-like layout of the work submitted by Henning Larsen Architects will give us an excellent base for developing a functional and variable work-place suited to the scientists everyday needs," Carlile said.

The research centre is a joint European project with a total of 17 countries participating in the development.


Image: When completed, the ESS centre is expected to be the world’s largest and most advanced facility for neutron-based research. Photo: SLA.