IN DESIGNING FOR THIS PROGRAM, THE GOAL WAS TO CREATE A SPACE SUPPORTING A HIGHLY INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE THAT WOULD ALLOW RESEARCHERS TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE BUILDING, THE OUTDOORS, AND EACH OTHER.
Tecnano combines a number of different types of lab spaces with collaborative co-working spaces that will ultimately house corporate partners. In designing for this program, the goal was to create a space supporting a highly interactive experience that would allow researchers to come into contact with the building, the outdoors, and each other. This collection of experiences would be facilitated by unique configurations on each floor and protected from the elements by a veil made of hexagonal shapes that eludes to the patterns that one finds in nanotechnology. The result is a dynamic interaction between indoors and outdoors that is rarely found in laboratory buildings.
In addition, the following goals were essential throughout the design process:
1. The building should look, smell, taste, feel, and sound like nanotechnology.
2. The building should be part of both, the University and the community without compromising its main purpose.
3. The building should be linked to both the significant history of the campus and to the 'new' spirit' of Monterrey Tec through careful consideration of its urban context and Monterrey Tec's vision and goals.
4. Architecture, Engineering and Science should work in a symbiotic relationship to create a building that brings the university into the forefront of sustainability and innovation through technology.
5. The building should be flexible, adaptable, innovative, urban, socially engaging, and minimal in the use of resources.
The design process that ensued was quite complex and involved considerable iterations. This was in large part because the needs of the clients continued to evolve. The specific program and lab requirements changed multiple times. The overall budget and what was included within the budget continued to evolve. Throughout this process, however, the commitment of the client to the overall design vision for the building remained unchanged. Given this desire to retain the vision as the needs of the client and capacity to realize the project evolved, it was important for the design team and consultants to work diligently to help the client arrive at a position where they could build the design they had selected. This involved a great level of creativity in determining the correct structure, mechanical systems, layout, and size of the building. Through these efforts, it was possible to develop a bid set at the end of Design Development that could be accurately priced for construction. Having completed this exercise, it was determined that the building met the initial budgetary requirements.
Although it remains to be determined whether efforts to revise the building to meet budgetary requirements will be sufficient for the project to resume, the client has always remained committed to the core vision of the design. The basic building configuration is based on two slabs oriented north-south which are connected at each one of originally 8 and ultimately 5 levels by a series of diagonal bridges. The slabs originally housed labs, but ultimately housed co-working spaces due to vibration requirements of the labs. The initial vision was to house all parking, mechanical, retail and the most sensitive vibration labs as well as the clean room in four levels below grade. Ultimately, the clean room became in independent volume entirely isolated from the rest of the structure while the parking was moved off-site. The bridges are connected to the west wing and articulated to the east wing to avoid the transmission of vibrations into the structure of the vibration sensitive labs. The building structure of the wings is out of reinforced concrete and composite on the bridges due to the large spans. The atrium is used as a natural exhaust shaft based on the principle of stack effect to transfer the spill out air from the interior of the building to the outside by partially conditioning the open bridges and terraces in the atrium while reducing energy consumption.