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Science Hills in Komatsu: between architecture and landscape

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The Science Museum, designed by Mari Ito / UAO, stands on the site of a former factory in Komatsu, a Japanese city developed as a center of industrial production. From this comes the desire to emphasize the spirit of industry, encouraging the children and all visitors’s interest to the applied science in this area.

The museum complex consists of a 3D dome theater, contained within the artificial hill in the northwest corner, a science experience learning center, a local industrial promotion center, and an incubation center.

The roofs of the Science Hills in Komatsu, consist of four green waves that define the gentle hills on which visitors can walk freely.

Designers’ purpose was, in fact, to integrate architecture and landscape, defining a building that could become also a public park for the city. This is a remarkable example of a way to give back to man the green space subtracted through the building by architecture.

Green roofs, in addition to defining beautiful spaces are extremely functional. The presence of vegetation cover affects the microclimate of the roof in order to reduce the temperature of the same during the day in summer, and resulting in less heat loss during the winter. In addition, the green roof reduces noise pollution because the ground is a barrier to the propagation of sound waves coming from the outside.

The complex was largely constructed from reinforced concrete internally and externally. This material allows to define the curved geometry of the roof which carries rainwater in a tank for the irrigation system.

At night, the space is transformed into a light show, through hundreds of LED equipped with sensors that detect the wind and change direction depending on its direction.

“The entire building is intending to be in harmony with science and to encourage the visitor’s various scientific discoveries in practice”, said the architect Mari Ito.

Architects: Mari Ito, UAO
Location: Komatsu, Ishikawa, Japan
Area: 6153 mq
Completamento: 2013
Photography: Daici Ano

Header image credits: domusweb.it

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