Apart from breaking the existing grey monotony of Minho University’s Azurém Campus in Guimarães, Portugal, in a captivating manner, the Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability building design was inspired by future technology themes. The façade skin occurred via an architectural reinterpretation, using titanium nanotubes as design reference.
Associated with recent discoveries, the titanium nanotubes have, among others, capacities for reuse and cheap production, becoming, this way, an inspiration for an architecture that seeks sustainability as an ideal. Nowadays, at the offices of UM (Minho University), researching processes are occurring in what concerns to materials development, one possible example is what’s happening in the civil engineering laboratory. In order to develop common synergies, the architects proposed a building skin in prefabricated elements of a cementitious matrix material. This material reinforced with micro-fibers, has no conventional reinforcement, which could cause corrosion problems, among other features; it is a very ductile material, plastic, fluid, self-compatible and allows to control the crack and therefore doesn’t crack. This skin allows the inclusion of pigmentation/oxides, doesn’t need constant maintenance and lasts longer than common materials. To finish, it also allows a wide range of architectural freedom.
Design by: Cláudio Vilarinho
Photos by: Joao Morgado - Architecture Photography