June 10, 2008 — M+W Zander, an architecture, engineering and construction-management firm specializing in designs for micro/nano R&D and manufacturing centers , says it will design a new nanotechnology center for international Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) in Braga, Portugal. Located on the campus of the University of Minho in Braga, the 230,000-square-foot project (21,400 square meters) will feature Class 100 and 1000 clean rooms, central characterization, including electron and scanning-probe microscopy and labs suited for a wide range of scientific disciplines.
Besides the main scientific building, which will be the hub of the 12-acre campus, the first phase of the project includes residential accommodations for staff and visiting professors. The second phase will include a business incubator and a nanotechnology interpretive center. When completed in 2009, the INL will employ several hundred people, including 200 scientific researchers.
In addition to its leading-edge science, the INL also will stand out for its striking design, with curving lines that dramatically conform to surrounding topography and offer a compelling contrast to traditional research facilities. “When we were tasked with creating a beautiful place for thinking, we knew we had our inspiration for the project. It was easily the most poetic aspiration for architecture we’ve ever heard. This evoked images of monastic cloisters, and naturally suggested using the project to shape and protect such a space from its busy, urban setting,” said M+W Zander architectural design leader Ken Filar, AIA.
The efficient, aesthetic design of INL, which was chosen in a competitive review process, resulted from the creative collaboration between M+W Zander’s U.S. and European offices. The architectural design and construction management are led by M+W Zander US Operations. M+W Zander’s European staff, based in Stuttgart, Germany, the corporate home of M+W Zander, will share engineering responsibilities with the North American office.
“M+W Zander’s unique strengths really shine in a project like this,” said John Busch, the project design manager for M+W Zander US operations. “We not only have unmatched talent in the design of nano facilities, but we can synchronize the assets of multiple offices around the world to offer something no other firm can.”