Natural Glow

Natural Glow

The Linneausborg, the building that houses the Centre for Life Sciences of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen, is part of a large-scale plan to create an arcadian campus in what was originally Zernike College. The building’s design emphasizes a connection to the Earth in a very direct way: the dramatic sloped, planted roofs rise right out of the ground.

The extend this visual connection, architect Rudy Uytenhaak Architectenbureau has made the facades of the building from translucent green composite panels that catch and hold sunlight, giving the structure an almost natural green appearance. The panels are made of Raficlad, described by manufacturer Holland Composites as “Translucent fibre composite panels with a random structure.”

The panels are glass fiber reinforced polyester, with a UV barrier layer coated on the surface to protect color fastness. The basic panel is 5.5 mm thick, and has a surface inlay of contrasting fiber cables to help create a natural look. They are manufactured using a vacuum injection technique.

The panels on the building are installed over a steel framework. The panel system had to meet stringent air tightness requirements because of the laboratories housed in the building.

Images of the building are by Marcel van der Burg, sourced as indicated.