Curious Design in Denmark: The Curiousity Center
If you've seen the digital renderings of The Metropol Parasol by J. Mayer H., then you know his talents as an innovative architect and designer are far from limited. Mayer H. is up there with the other big dogs of architecture and his most recent project, The Curiosity Center at Danfoss Universe, is no less indicative of his abilities.
On October 20, 2006, a topping out ceremony was held in Nordborg, Denmark for the completion for the steel construction of one of two structures—called The Curiosity Center—Mayer H. designed for the Danfoss Universe Park. The Park itself is a science and adventure park full of machines, activities and technologies that seek to make science and technology accessible and understandable to younger generations. Danfoss, an international technology company, founded the Park in hopes of bringing its techniques and innovations into the public realm. Most of the activities in the Park are based on refrigeration, motion and movement, and heat and serve as a more entertaining version of the processes that actually go on at Danfoss. Danfross adds "the purpose of the park is to spur on children's and young people's enthusiasm and interest in technology and science."
So, now that you have some background on the Park, you can get a better idea of why a structure as innovative as The Curiosity Center fits in nicely with its environment. Though the structures aren't set to be complete until 2007, the renderings show what the completed project will look like. Mayer H. sought to create a building that seems to rise up from the ground and provide a space that melds together the outdoor landscape with the indoor exhibitions. The buildings are highly functional in that they extend the summer outdoor park into the winter months with enclosed spaces for experiments and expositions.
The structure of the Curiosity Center itself is completely interactive with its environment, inside and out. The endpoints of the buildings blur the line between building and park by offering "inside-out" spaces; that is to say, the exterior of the building is a project surface that reflects some aspect of the exhibition going on inside. Furthermore, the great design of the buildings create a silhouette of the structure, forming a grouping of land formations that define the unique so-called "skyline horizon" of the Danfoss Universe. Thematically, The Curiosity Center is representative of Mayer H. and his trend of creating structures that are environmentally sound but still able to inspire awe and inspiration through their distinctive design.