By Nick Gilbert
Among 23 submitted proposals, a panel of judges has chosen five international groups of architect and landscaping companies to design the exterior of the European Spallation Source (ESS), the next generation facility for materials research and life science.
This research center will be built in the southern part of Sweden and the construction process is expected to start in 2013. The ESS facility is anticipated to begin operation in 2019.
The architectural design of the structures will be essential to lend an appealing touch to the world-class research facility and for the technical and scientific functions. In addition, the design is critical for integration into the existing landscape and the upcoming Science Village. Hence, a design competition was held with the aim to develop the best architectural ideas for the future ESS center. Five international consortia have been finally selected, who will compete to develop and present the design ideas for the layout and buildings for the ESS research center and the surrounding landscape. The chosen consortia are Tengbom, Mecanoo Architecten, Buro Happold; Henning Larsen Architects, COBE, SLA, NNE Pharmaplan; Foster + Partners, Peter Walker and Partners, Research Facilities Design, Ramboll Group, Berg/CF Moller Architects; Bjarke Ingels Group, HOK International, Topotek1/man made land; and Bethem Crouwel, West8, Arup, Mandaworks.
The proposal submitted by these consortia will be evaluated by a jury on the basis of various factors, including sustainability, safety, economic and functional feasibility, flexibility and architectural design qualities. The winning contestant will be announced at the end of October 2012.