Virus Reference Laboratory

This extension to the Virus Reference Laboratory was built on a restricted site in University College Dublin between the main laboratory and Ardmore House. Although small in scale, the project plays a significant role in the relationship between the central university buildings and the surrounding landscape, and, in particular, the lake directly below it. Quite different in shape and materials, the pavilion was designed to both support and challenge the ideas of architecture in landscape that permeated the original campus design in the 1960's. Laid out with offices above and a laboratory, canteen and meeting facility on the ground floor, it is everywhere concerned with being in landscape and with the interpretation of landscape.

At a local level, one side is framed by a rational triangular shape on the ground plane - the inner edge is intimately tied around a small Japanese garden. The plan is simple: open space with a coloured core like a cell nucleus which can be glimpsed in the round as one moves around the building. Additional height to parapets gives it a cube-like proportional muscularity: the elevations are clad in a skin of abstract interlocking and overlapping shapes in which glazing and timber panels project and recede from the main surface.

As featured on Archiseek