Inspired by the structure, shape and silhouette of a tree canopy and the trees on the site, Serero architects created a computer script, generating a façade with non-repetitive and non-standard components.

“Trees are often a source of inspiration to me,” says David Serero. “I see them as complex structures elaborated from simple rules, growing coherently and continuously in time and space. The efficiency of their structure is based on the notions of redundancy and differentiation, opposing concepts of modern engineering such as optimisation and repetition.”

Despite its natural appearance, the roof is generated from simple geometric principles, allowing shapes to vary between elements. It is designed to be continuous with its surroundings, incorporating the landscape in its interior.

The structure, composed of a double concrete shell, gives the impression of foliage and is speckled with egg-shaped perforations. The external shell works as a large sun umbrella, shading the lobby and auditorium. The internal shell of glass and concrete regulates heating and ventilation.

The ‘living skin’ of the shed structure below the canopy regulates the atmosphere in the interior and illuminates the inside of the auditorium. As daylight fades, lamps on the sides of an oculus progressively compensate until they fully replace natural light.

The building, the result of two years of research on architectural shapes and bioclimatic controls, is ventilated passively in summer. Photovoltaic panels on the southern side of the roof provide energy.

The auditorium is designed to offer optimum acoustics. Internal timber slatted walls are combined with acoustic materials, and the complex geometry of the ceiling diffuses sound.  

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