NEO – Concrete Bubbles of Love
Krister Bjurström, Anna Morén Sahlin, Kjell Jansson, Anna Mistry Bergbom, Daniel De Sousa Barrera, Miguel Reyes, Sofia Kanje, Kristoffer Adolfsson, Ana Gejo.
LINK Arkitektur (Finish Railings & Furniture):
Laila Ifwer Sternhoff, Laila Boström, Elaine Young
Tengbom Computational Design:
Shahrokh Kamyab och Jakob Lilliemarck
Jean-Charler Violleau, Hamid Yaldan, Malin Wahlström, Staffan Snis, John Nilsson, Lars Höglund, Benjamin Levy
Svante Pettersson, Daniel Ljung, Disco Anders
Photography by Birnee:
Karolinska Institutet, Veidekke
Special thanks to Johannes Kuhnen at Design to Production for helping to set up the parametric model.
About the project
Sweden´s latest Research Facility, Karolinska Institutet – NEO, includes an amorphous space of translucent concrete with unique acoustic qualities.
The two Concrete Bubbles contain Europe´s most high-tech lecturing.
Inside, lectures are held on a monstrous 15x3m (49x10ft) LED-Screen. And sound is distributed using 68 Microphones and 234 loudspeakers (61+129 in the small hall).
Outside, announcements and speeches can be made making use of the shell and its shape. The announcer can choose his/her position, in relation to the shell, depending on size of
Sound absorption was never called for, but rather quality of sound with an intimate ambience. The million Micro-Perforations absorb noise and the cavities diffuse high-pitch sounds, while the shape in large diffuse sounds in the lower register. The result is a totally unique ambience where noise free speech and discussion is achieved.
Entrance gateways have perforations of Oxytocin, the “love molecule”, as a reminder of sorts. The perforations were given a direction to simulate a sort of electron cloud – a sphere of love that each visitor step into.
The casting boxes were produced using as little material as possible. Each of the 250 panels needed formwork made from 12 unique steel pieces. The form was then filled with a plastic granulate and hand-shaped to create the correct 3D surface. The granulate is re-used by the producer indefinitely.
With lights off – the space takes on a more sombre atmosphere, more resembling the early charcoal drawings.
Written about the project: