For the Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability, part of the Minho University in Guimarães, Portugal, Cláudio Vilarinho proposed a building with a unique image for the campus. A building that breaks the existing gray monotony – referring not only to the visual component of the campus, but also to the “global never-ending crisis” – and that, at the same time, is able to captivate.
The search for future technology themes was at the base of the concept for the building. The facade’s skin, thought through an architectural reinterpretation, uses titanium nanotubes as a reference. Associated with recent discoveries, the titanium nanotubes have capacities for re-use and cheap production, becoming, this way, an inspiration for an architecture that seeks sustainability as an ideal.
The architects proposed the skin of the building in prefabricated elements of a cementitious matrix material. This one, reinforced with micro-fibers, has no conventional reinforcement that could cause corrosion problems, it is very ductile, plastic, fluid, self-compatible and allows to control the cracking and therefore doesn’t crack at all. This skin allows the inclusion of pigmentation/oxides, it doesn’t need constant maintenance and lasts longer than common materials. It also allows a wide range of the architectural freedom.
Design © Cláudio Vilarinho
Info and images courtesy of João Morgado – Architectural Photography