The Collections and Research Building relates to the scales, proportions and rhythm – and seamlessly integrates circulation, egress and services – of adjacent heritage buildings. Contemporary materials and visual harmony with heritage are balanced. Co-locating laboratories with consolidated collections protects specimens and releases heritage space for exhibitions.
The double skin façade, providing passive thermal and acoustic benefits, is inspired by the activities of collecting and research. The dichroic glazing pattern, abstracted from a microscope photograph of a moth’s wing, produces shimmering, dynamic colours through the same optical effects as iridescent butterflies wings.
A simple plan resolves complex requirements, economically meeting the Museum’s aspirations – internal & external: individual, institutional and civic.
Energy demands are passively minimised and risks to specimens reduced, ensuring their preservation as labs and workspaces, along the east with outlook and natural light are co-located with collection storage away from the exterior; a corridor between extends and completes the circulation of the existing buildings.
Exposed honest concrete structure and services throughout provides thermal mass and minimises material usage.