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Case Study : Phaeno Science Center

designed by Zaha Hadid

Figure 1: Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany

Wolfsburg, Germany


Buildings embody cultural knowledge. They are testament to the

will and forces that affect their conception, realization, use and
experience. They bear cultural and professional significance
and possess within them and their constituent components, im-
portant lessons for anyone wanting to discover what a work of
architecture is in its larger context, what brought it about, and
how it contributes. As Peter Parsons points out, “their forms
and spaces are invested with traces of habitation and beliefs
through the employment of materials wrought by craft and tech-
nology.” They are manifestos of habituated practice and pro-
gressive intentions, and range in their influence from reinforcing
obsolete patterns and meanings at one extreme, to innovating
and provoking yet unconsidered ones, at the other.

The Rensselaer Case Studies project examines contemporary

works of architects in relation to what influenced them, and
seeks to expose innovations in thinking, technique and tech-
nology that contribute to architectural knowledge, scholarship
and progress in contemporary practice. The project is designed
to reveal the technological and cultural knowledge embedded
within each selected project through questioning and analysis,
probed through the dis- and re-assembly of drawing and model-
ing to discover the larger significance of the artifact, and how it
came to be.

Rensselaer Case Studies Project

Mark Mistur, AIA

Associate Professor

Emaan Farhoud
Course Assistant

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

School of Architecture
Troy, New York 2006

Henry Albin, Jenny Joe, Jay Young
Professor Mark Mistur
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Fall 2006

Table of Contents:


1. Practice
Major Works

2. Context

3. Technology
Structure + Building System
Materials + Enclosures

4. Program and Performance

5. Innovations and Influence

6. Bibliography

Project Description :

Figure 1.1: Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany

The Phaeno Science Center (Figure open plaza spaces below the build-
1.1) designed by Zaha Hadid is ing. These axial openings are also
an unique building especially for creates visual movement under and
Germany. The dynamicism of the past the building which dissolves
form and structure keeps the visitors the scale of the building,
aware of the architecture.
Even inside the building, in the
The Phaeno Science Center is lo- exhibition spaces, the surface of the
cated in a special site in Wolfsburg, ground plan is one massive con-
acting as a link between the two tinuous surface that folds over and
sides of the city, which is separated under itself creating an enclosed
by a canal. One side is the histori- space. The cones do not appear to
cal civic buildings and the other side penetrate the planes but the two are
is the new Volkswagen Autostadt merged together by the rounding of
which is the main tourist attraction the edges to emphasis this continu-
within Wolfsburg. ity theme.

The building’s form is designed to

be continuous. Th site itself is a roll-
ing artificial landscape that merges
into the cones, where Zaha contin-
ues to play with the idea of the “ur-
ban carpet” by extending it into the
surface of the building. The base of
the building are its large cones that
lifts the monumental building above
grade. These cones are separated
by axial penetrations that creates

Part 1. Practice tures that had once dominated the often misunderstood, which left
practice. few people who took her work
seriously at that time. During her
Upon being awarded the Diploma time in school, she was inspired by
Prize in 1977, Hadid was asked Russian Constructivists, such as
to Join Rem Koolhaas and Elia Malevich, which began her down
Zenghelis at a new firm they had her own path to her style of painting
recently founded called Office of and its importance in her architec-
Metropolitan Architecture, or OMA. tural work. Like le Corbusier, but
Architect At this same time, she also taught perhaps with a more direct cor-
Zaha Hadid is the most well known with Koolhaas and Zenghelis at the relation, Hadid uses her paintings
female architect of our time. She Architectural Association until 1987. as explorations and intentions of
was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. After only three years with OMA, her building and its connection to
Her father worked as an Industrial- Hadid left the firm and went out on its surroundings. Before comput-
ist and was a leading politician fol- her own. During the next several ers became common architectural
lowing the British mandate in 1958 years, she taught at a variety of tools, and there were no digital
when Iraq attempted to create a schools, held several exhibits of her 3d modelers really out there, her
democracy. It was a very progres- work, and won a few Competitions, artwork was one of the few ways to
sive time in Iraq, where tolerance such as the Peak in Hong Kong, explore a building in 3 dimensions,
was much more common than in though her design was never built. the “Three-dimensionality” of it, not
recent years. Hadid, a Sunni Mus- simply plan and section. (Architec-
lim, went to a convent for schooling, Her painting was a large part of tural Design, 73)
where there was not just diversity in her work (Figures 1.2 and 1.3),
the students; Sunni Muslim, Shiite and unfortunately it also was fairly After the Peak Competition, Zaha
Muslim, Jewish, and Christian girls,
but the nuns had diverse nationali-
ties as well (Icon, June 2003).

After getting her undergraduate de-

gree in Mathematics at the Ameri-
can University of Beirut, Hadid
traveled to London and studied at
the Architectural Association under
teachers such as Rem Koolhaas,
Elia Zenghelis, Daniel Libeskind
and Bernard Tschumi. It was a time
of near architectural upheaval as
the concepts which had once rigidly
defined architecture were being
unwoven by a new era of architect.
This atmosphere deeply influenced
Zaha’s approach to architecture
Figure 1.2: Painting of The Peak, Hong Kong
and moving away from the stric-

lowing year saw the completion of
her Hoenheim Tram station and car
park in Strasbourg France and the
Ski Jump in Austria was completed
in 2002. That same year she won
a competition for the BMW Central
Plant in Germany. The Rosenthal
Arts Centre opened in 2003, and in
2005 both the BMW Central Plant
in Leipzig and The Phaeno Science
Centre of Wolfsburg, Germany
were completed (Figure 1.4).

Figure 1.3: Painting of Contemporary Art Center, Cinncinnati

For Hadid, It is important to have

a connection between education
and professions. She feels that
began her own firm, with around 15 (Icon, June 2003) education does have a major im-
people. In recent years, because pact in the architectural scene, not
of the demand that has grown for Her breakthrough into architecture immediately, but in a couple years
her work, that number has swelled began with the Vitra Fire Station in because it is where one learns to
to 50 or 60 people. Many of those Germany in 1993. It was her first create ideas. She sees that the
are Interns or young architects. major built project. In 1994 she ideas that they had as students and
Hadid is known to have a chaotic won a competition for the Cardiff the designs they do were usually
personality when it comes to her Bay Opera House in Wales. Con- are more societally challenging at
employee; getting very emotional troversy soon followed however, that time, but they will come to use
over small things and actually firing and amid accusations of prejudice, during one’s profession when the
people, only to call them up within a the project was cancelled and a society becomes more accepting.
day and offer them their jobs again. Rugby Stadium was elected to be Hadid believes that it is important
Her treatment of her staff has been built instead. Despite this setback, to invest in education for this very
considered harsh by some. She Hadid continued forward and in reason. At her office, the focus of
often criticizes the lack of drawing 1998, she won the competition for her work is to create ideas. The
ability in newer architects, specifi- the Rosenthal Centre of Contem- reason for this thinking is because
cally being an issue as her paint- porary Art in Cincinnati, which is of her experience from her time at
ings (which are not done solely by considered one of her greatest the Architectural Association where
her, but with many others helping) buildings. In 1999 she won a com- their program pushes the edge on
as they are such a large part of her petition for a Ski Jump in Innsbruck designs of new styles of programs,
work. Her office is currently being Austria, and in 2000 she won the material, and structure. At the
housed in a school building which competition for the Wolfsburg Sci- AA, Hadid could concentrate more
they are quickly growing out of. ence Center in Germany. The fol- about design and ideas because
it was mainly about learning and

Figure 1.4: Timeline of Zaha Hadid’s Education and Major Works
developing. Hadid wasn’t worried
if her buildings she designed there
would be translated into a real
building. But even now in her own
firm, she isn’t worried about if the
building could be built, their main
focal point is to develop ideas.

The process of designing in her

office is not always the same. It
was once done through sketch-
ing but now “the process has
changed because of digitization.
But either by hand or by computer,
sketching, modeling, and plan-
ning were all done simultaneously
where they work back and forth
between the different methods of
their design process. With more
advanced technologies of comput-
ers, one can output faster rather
than drawing multiple sketches of
different designs or perspectives.
Also computers help advance the
development of manufacturing and
research of new things. But she
believes the downside of computers
is that there is a less of an under-
standing of how people view the
project and there is a lost of feeling.

“People had lost faith in modern

ideas,” Hadid has stated. At the be-
ginning, her general idea of design
was to challenge the conventional
designs of architecture. Her explo-
ration and expansion of modern-
ism was rough in the beginning
because it was hard for people to
understand her designs because
the way she displayed them was
not like a presentation, but ideas.
At the beginning, they started to do
learn how to draw, how to do pro-

architects who were always afraid and organization of the programs.
to be the pioneer. Another way that She pushes context, programming,
she has changed architecture is landscaping and structure past
at its roots; she made institutions beyond modernism.
think about how they should teach
students architecture, from produc- To Hadid, the context is an impor-
tion to design, from “modernism” to tant part of design and one can
post-modernism. interpret context in different ways.
One can do more than designing
Zaha Hadid stated, “Architecture, a building as an object on the site,
in a good way, can restructure but design it as a field and actually
society.” She believes that one reflect back influences and feeling
can redesign society in a positive back into the context. By designing
Figure 1.5: Zaha Hadid
way through architecture by how it as a field within the context, “the
affects people based on the design. field implied you reorganized the
jections, how to do presentations, Many of her buildings are seen as whole context.”
and how to do models mainly as defying gravity. But conceptually,
research. The way she explored her designs attempts to defy rule of Through her projections, drawings,
modern design were through typical traditional architecture, try- and paintings, she tests out how
drawings, painting, and modeling, ing to create new styles of space, buildings are orientated and what
displaying distortion and projec- form, and structure away from the experiences are invoked. They
tion. When modeling, they study ordinary. mostly display ideas perceiving
space and transparencies but then space, movement, perspectival
it started to influence on the real She has said that for her work, “it space; all these are perceptions of
design of the work they developed. is important that it is very recogniz- the ideas of the mind. The designs
able,” and “it is very important to of spaces of her work usually have
Hadid has changed the architec- always challenge the topic.” Zaha concepts of distortion, deforma-
tural scene with her extremely mod- tries to reinvent the concepts of tion, narrowness, expansion, and
ernist designs. Since the beginning general designs. She felt that there compression of space. She says
of her works, her designs create was an alternative to conservative that, “public buildings are canvases
new architectural feeling, visually designs, typical designs, mass pro- to try out these ideas.”
and experientially. Even though duction, etc. She wanted to change
she lacked support of her style, the typology rather than repeating Most of her projects are public
she consistently pressured society designs and make each building buildings; Hadid believes that in
with many of her competition. Even different because since the site is public designs, there is freedom
though she had won competitions, different, the design should be too. of openness. In her designs, she
because the judges appreciated She wanted to make her designs creates relationships between the
her enthusiasm of her contempo- unique, creating new formal lan- program and the public where the
rary style, many of the designs guages and how people experi- public spaces become an entity of
were not built because society ence and move through it which is a building. She values topography
rejected them. But Hadid kept of done through spatial organization. and landscape, where her buildings
designing in the same way, pushing Hadid’s designs are influenced by are less static and structured. By
society into acceptance of change the context and urban context of doing this, a building is seen as
which eventually sparked other how it relates through connections a landscape where is the spatial

experience is ambiguous and not

Hadid’s designs aren’t centered

solely around topographies and
landscaping but it is taken account
of at the same time when designing
the rest of a building like structure
and program to truly express the
idea of landscaping. Through
landscaping, she attempts to create
multiple public spaces connecting
to the context and to the different
layers of spaces of the building.

Even her ideas of structure are

involved in landscaping to create
large open public spaces and non-
repetition opposing mass-produc-
tion. The structure is a major part
of the design and is not hidden.
It accentuates the formalism of
spatial experiences by creating
feelings, like openness or light-
ness. One inhabits the structure
and there is no boundary between
structure and the skin. (Planet
Architecture, 2003)

Major Works

Vitra Fire Station

ings while the project is only on a dustrial building located where pro-
Weil Am Rhein, Germany,
small area in it. Zaha Hadid saw gram was needed. These punctures
the site as a zone within the indus- are orientated in the movement of
trial site which is 500 meters long. the fire engines which are perpen-
The Vitra Fire Station (Figure 1.6) dicular to the wall. This design al-
in Weil Am Rhein, Germany was a She designed the fire station at the lows an interesting view and scene
project to build a fire station on the edge of this zone where it trans- to people walking through and next
north-east section of the Vitra fur- forms into a landscape representing to the building where it expresses
niture factory complex. Programs a piece of furniture in a room, in motion of readiness. The form
in this project includes a boundary extremely large scale. represents the typical actions of fire
wall, bicycle shed and other minor station during needed time, ready
programs. The main design is a series of and alert to calls of duties.
layering of screen walls where each
The site has the large factory build- space intersects the walls of the in-
Figure 1.6: Vitra Fire Station

Weil am Rhein, Germany,

Zaha Hadid designed the LFone

(Figures 1.7-1.12) in Weil am Rhein,
Germany as an integrated archi-
tectural building. Its program is
designed for events and exhibitions,
providing space for both while its
architecture formally is merged with
the land around it.

Its formal concept was a to cre- Figure 1.7: LFone

ate an architectural design that

topographically connects with the
ground with fluid geometry using a
system of paths that wind through
and around the building.

Many different spaces are created

from these paths, creating intersec-
tions where specific public programs
are placed like the exhibition, cafe,

There is also a center for environ-

mental research which is partly Figure 1.8: LFone

underground which connects to the

but still being open to the exhibition
hall and other public spaces.

Figure 1.9: LFone

Figure 1.10: LFone Interior

Figure 1.11: Painting of LFone Figure 1.12: Painting of LFone

Car Park and Terminus
Strasbourg, France, 1999-

The Car Park and Terminus in

Hoenheim-Nord Strasbourg
(Figures 1.13-1.17), France was
designed as a tramstation and car
park for a tram line.

The architectural design concept

is overlapping fields and lines of
spaces that weave together creat-
ing a total whole. The system of
fields represent movements of cars,
trams, and people where the form is
inter-merged with the surrounding
landscape and context of the site. Figure 1.13: Hoenheim-Nord Terminus

The main importance is to create

a well organized circulation space
that link the different use programs
together which was done by using
lights in the floor, furniture, and ciel-
ing from openings.

The architectural design is created

to become a link between a to-be
planned train station to be built in
the north and the new tram station.

Figure 1.14: Hoenheim-Nord Terminus

Figure 1.15: Renderings of Hoenheim-Nord

Figure 1.16: Hoenheim-Nord Terminus

Figure 1.17: Aerial view of Hoenheim-Nord Terminus

Bergisel Ski Jump
Innsbruck, Austria, 1999-

Zaha Hadid designed the Bergisel

Ski Jump (Figures 1.18-1.19) as a
part of the refurbish project of the
Olymic Arena in Innsbruck, Austria.
This ski jump replaced a older ski
jump which didnt meet international
standards anymore so it needed to
be redesigned.
Figure 1.18: Bergisel Ski Jump

This ski jump became a large land-

mark in Innsbruck due to its special
programmic design which holds
sports facilities and public spaces
like cafes.

Its formal shape is special where

Zaha Hadid intergrated the shape
of the ski jump and the slope of the
mountain into the buiding. Materi-
alistically, there is also a connection
between the buiding and the ramp
where the ramp and the cafe are of
structural steel.

Figure 1.18: Renderings and drawings of the Bergisel Ski Jump

Rosenthal Center for Con-
temporary Art
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA,

The Rosenthal Center for Con-

temporary Art (Figures 1.20-1.24)
required program spaces for
an education facility, offices, art
preparation areas, a museum store,
a performance theater, and public

The lobby is leveled with the

sidewalk where there is a connec-
tion with the outside and the inside
from the material used, the glass
glazing and the concrete continutiy
of the sidewalk and the interior floor.
There is a sense of movement for
the people entering the building
because of the concrete connection
which also pulls them vertically due
to the continuous rolling surface of
the ground to the wall where the
Figure 1.20: Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art
vertical circulation is located to the
exhibition spaces which Zaha Hadid
calls the “Urban Carpet.” This car-
pet is also the main concept of the
structural system in the building.

The exhibition spaces are of differ-

ent sizes of cubes to accommodate
different exhibits of contemporary
art. Each space is a solid and void
where the space within could be
altered to allow flexibility in needed
space and arangement of artworks.

(El Corquis, 166-173).

Figure 1.21: Rendering of the Rosenthal Center Figure 1.22: Painting of Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art

Figure 1.23: Painting of Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art

Figure 1.24: Studies of Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art

Central Building - BMW
Leipzig, Germany, 2002-

Zaha Hadid designed the Cen-

tral Building of the BMW Plant in
Leipzig, Germany. This Central
Building is the center of the whole
factory complex where in connects
all the activities and other programs
together where it is all branched out
from this center.

This center creates movement and

circulation of the whole complex
where it accommidates the move-
Figure 1.25: Center Building - BMW Plant
ments of the workers and visitors
and also the cycle of the car factory.

The three main production stages,

body, paint shop, and assembly are
organized around the center. The
movements physically and visually
go through this center, allowing a
connection between different pro-
grams and different people. Zaha
Hadid organized the spaces with a
transition of public to busy.

The facade strategy is to pull the

envelope under the top floor which
is diagonal to the plan. The car
drop off is located at this area where
in goes under the diagonal projec-
tion where the visitors can easily

(Kiser, 1).

Figure 1.26: Center Building - BMW Plant

Figure 1.27: Center Building - BMW Plant

Figure 1.28: Center Building - BMW Plant

Part 2. Context

Figure 2.1: Symbol of Wolfsburg The official logo of the city

The city of Wolfsburg is most well of the resources, like the location
Wolfsburg, Germany known for the Volkswagen factory of Lebenstedt. For the first time a
(Figure 2.4). It is the only planned city was planned and founded just
Wolfsburg is located about 70 km urban development in Germany to give the employees of a gigantic
east of Hannover, in Lower Saxony, during 20th century (Figure 2.1). new automobile factory a home”.
Germany. It is near what was once Wolfsburg has its origin going Back then the population was 1,100,
the border between West and East back to pre-WWII era. Under Nazi all of whom were related to the
Germany, which were reunitfied in government, the Kraft durch Freude, factory.
1990. Germany itself lies in Central translating to “strength through joy”,
Europe, with the northern end which was a state-controlled leisure
bordering the North Sea. While program for the masses, began
compartivelly to the United States, in 1933. Under the KdF program,
it lies northward, past the Canadian Hitler envisioned a new car, afford-
border, its climate is temperate, able for the people. Collaborating
with neither very hot nor very cold with designer Ferdinand Porsche,
parts of the year. The orginal KdF-wagen became a
propaganda for the national social-
Wolfsburg, which is located in istic motorization campaign (Figure
Northern Germany, has a climate 2.2). In 1938 The city of Wolfsburg
where rainfall occurs year round. was chosen as the location to house
The weather is fairly vaired, and KdF-wagen facotries. “The location
Figure 2.2: Volkswagen First model of Volkswagen,
winds are primarily westerly. of the city was not chosen because

KdF-wagen created a coupon You should be able to continue on
program so people in the KdF from here,
program could afford a car, it
took 200 coupons to receive one. Adding pages will continue on with
However, because of the break- the page numbering.
out of WWII, the factory began to
produce military vehicles such as The main text is Arial size 8 with a
jeeps and aircrafts instead, mostly 12pt spacing.
by forced workers and POWs. The
coupons would not be used and no The titles are in Verdana size 8 with
one received cars until after the war. a 12 pt spacing.
During wartime, the KdF factory was
a primary target of Allied forces and
was bombed. The city was taken by If you have any questions let me
the Allies and renamed in 1945 to know.
Wolfsburg. The name was borrowed Figure 2.4: VW factory, Wolfsburg The city of Wolfsburg and the VW company remains closely associated
from the local castle built in 1300 with eachother

named “Wolfsburg”. The original

castle has been rebuilt in 1600, and
the new castle still stands today,
(Figure 2.5). After the end of the
war, refugees and people looking
for work flooded to Wolfsburg, the
population in 1945 grew to 19,000
from the original 1,100 in 1938, and
that number grew to 38,000 in 1954,
thus housing remained a critical is-
sue well into the 1950’s. The named
KdF-wagen was changed to Volk-
swagen, meaning “people’s car”,
and the company was turned over
to German government in 1949.

Figure 2.5: Castle of Wolfsburg The castle which Wolfsburg was named after. First build in 1300’s and
rebuilt in the 1600’s

During the early Iron Curtain Era,
Wolfsburg tried to create a new
cultural and social infrastructure.
“Numerous schools, sports and
playing fields, and swimming pools,
as well as 26 new churches, were
evidence of the enormous efforts
made in those years (Figure 2.6).
By the early 1960’s, Porsches-
traße, the main street in the city, is
almost entirely lined with buildings”
(Schneider). Financially supported
by the VW company, first cultural
projects were constructed, they
were the Congress Centre building
and the Culture Centre, designed
by Alvar Aalto (Figure 2.9). Even
so, during this Era Wolfsburg
was mostly forgotten, and largely
ignored or bypassed by people. It
was a corridor city in East Germany,
sitting along the main road to Berlin
(Figure 2.8), yet most it received
very few visitors.

Wolfsburg reached a population

peak of 131,000 in 1972. The main
focus since has been to gener-
ate urban life and a city center in
the relatively quite, suburban city
(Figure 2.7). Between the Cultural
Figure 2.8: Map of West and East Germany Wolfsburg was located on the border of West and East Ger-
Center and the theater, a Museum many, and served as a gateway to west Berlin

of Modern Art and Town Hall exten-

sion was built, by architect Peter major step was the partnership of
Schweger between 1989 – 1994. Volkswagen with the City of Wolfs-
“The self-confident body of the burg, setting up structural changes
museum constitutes a landmark on to lower unemployment, attract
the southern edge of the city axis, business start-ups, and focusing on
adding a new dimension to the inner entertainment and leisure amenities.
city” (Schneider). With the begin- Thus the well-being of Wolfsburg
ning of globalization in the 90’s, and VW are still closely connected.
Wolfsburg also tries to transform
into a “center of global services and
leisure amenities” (Schneider). Its

Dealing with the lack of culture and
attraction, in 1996, VW built the
Autostadt (Figures 2.10-2.18) in the
north of Wolfsburg, just east of the
factories. “It was the EXPO event in
nearby Hanover that induced Volk-
swagen AG to build the Autostadt”
(Schneider). The Autostadt complex
is a center for entertainment,
auto-history museums persenting
the company’s cars, has become
an extremely successful tourist
attraction, The 750 million dollar
project combines innovative works
from “internationally renowned
Figure 2.9: Wolfsburg Cultural Center, Alvar Aalto, 1962
artists, architects, film makers,
photographers, video and computer
specialists” (Schneider). A new city
bridge was built to connect the city
to the Autostadt on the north side of
the canal, extending the Porsches-
traße (main street) axis beyond its
northern end at the railway station,
“thus lifting the strict division of city
and factory and opening part of the
factory premises permanently to the
public” (Schneider).

Figure 2.10: The Autosdadt

1) Entrance Building. 2) Car Museum. 3) Bently Museum. 4) Lamborghini Museum. 5) Skoda Museum. 6)
Seat Museum. 7) Audi Museum. 8) VW Museum 9) Customer Center . 10) Driving Course. 11) Auto Trume.
12) Ritz-Carlton Hotel. 13) Office. 14) City Bridge. connecting over to Phaeno and downtown Wolfsburg

Figure 2.11: Seat Museum Museum that houses Figure 2.12: Customer Center Visitor Center at Figure 2.13: Entrance Building View of the
Seat models Night
Entrance Building from across the canal

Figure 2.14: The VW Museum Museum that houses VW models
Figure 2.16: Auto Trume World’s largest car
vending machine

Figure 2.17: Auto Trume Interior View

Figure 2.15: The Car Museum Nightime view with the VW factory in the background

Figure 2.18: Audi Museum Museum that houses

Audi models

In 1998 the original railway station
was converted into an ICE stop
(Figure 2.19), “its forecourt adopted
a new significance: it is now, next to
being the link to the Autostadt, the
essential gate to the City” (Sch-
neider). At first the city planned an
art museum for the site, However
Dr. Wolfgang Guthardt, (Figure
2.20), the City Director of Culture
at the time felt that the institution Figure 2.19: Phaeno Science Center View of Phaeno Science Center’s Northen Facade, from the ICE high-
speed-train tracks.
would compete with the existing Art
Mueseum. It was then that Guthar-
dt visited Technorama, the Swiss
science museum, (figure 2.21). He
was convinced that an innovative
science center in Wolfsburg would
complement both Autostadt and
the existing Kunst Museum, epe-
cially since no such center exists
in Germany at the time. (He is now
the first executive director of the
science center).

An international architecture com- Figure 2.20: Dr. Wolfgang Guthardt

petition was held to design the new First executive director of Phaeno Sicence Center,
and the ex-city-directior for Culture, Sports and
Phaeno Science Center, the project Education.

would have to highlight the railway

as a means of transportation and
would become a significant cultural
component to the city. “Zaha Had-
id’s prizewinning design elevates
the entire exhibition floor to a height
of 6.5 meters, thus generating an
urban area underneath the disc-
shaped building as an interactive
link to the city centre and is going
to mark an urban place at the heart
of an intersection” (Schneider),
see photo of Phaeno - (Figure
2.22). With the Autostadt Complex
and now the new Phaeno Science
Center, Wolfsburg is finally creating Figure 2.21: Technorama The Swiss Science Museum. Model for Phaeno Science Center

cultural identity and transforming

the city into a visiting center offering
cutting-edge services and contem-
porary leisure amenities.

The Phaeno Science Center was

built from the urban planning project
by the City of Wolfsburg. City offi-
cials were planning to build a public
attraction building on the land next
to the VW building. They initially
planned to build an art museum
but then decided not to. They were
mostly thinking about money, and
how to make Wolfsburg a bet-
ter town, how to make it a tourist
town, and how to get people to go
to Wolfsburg to feed its economy.
They felt that another art museum in
Figure 2.22: Photo of Phaeno
their town would be less profitable.
They already have an art museum,
the Kunst Museum and felt like
they would be competing with each

The city officials got Ansel Associ-

ates to design and program the
science exhibition as interactive
scientific and artistic works. (See
Figures 2.23-2.25.) A competi-
tion was held for the architectural Figure 2.23: Preliminary sketch of exhibits in Phaeno by Ansel Inc.
design of the building, which Zaha
Hadid had won. Zaha Hadid
worked with Mayer Bahrle archi-
tects, her German associates on
this project. These three worked
together to create the Phaeno
building as a sculpture but still
providing space for the science

Figure 2.24: Photo of exhibits in Phaeno.

Figure 2.25: Sketch by Ansel Inc. of an interior view of Phaeno.
With the success of Autostadt in the
north of Wolfsburg, the newly estab-
lished ICE (high-speed train) stop
along the northern canal, and the
existing city axis, an empty piece of
“triangle” shaped, land north of the
city suddenly became significant
(Figure 2.26). “It is now, next to be- WOLF’S CASTLE

ing the link to the Autostadt, the es- CANAL
sential gate to the City” (Schneider). I.C.E. RAIL &
The idea of integrating the existing VW FACTORY
bridge from the Autostadt to the city
canal bank as a link between the

VW and the city was originally pre-


sented by architect Petyer Koller in



his original design for the city. Erect-




ing a building here would create I.C.E. STATION

a central venue for public life. Dr.

Wolfgang Guthardt who was then
the city’s director for culture, sports,
and education, was convinced that CITY CENTER

an innovative science center in

Wolfsburg would complement both

Autostadt and the existing Kunst


Museum, epecially since no such


center exists in Germany at the

time. A science center would draw
more tourists to the city in addi-
tion to the AUtostadt, and establish
Figure 2.26: Map of Wolfsburg showing relationship between Phaeno Science Center, the Autostadt,
Wolfsburg as a cultural center. and the City

Zaha Hadid was one of the archi-
tects competed for the design of
Phaeno. Her design for the building
is themed around the idea of move-
ment and continuity. The idea is
represented in three aspects of the
building: visual continuity, physical
continuity, and surface continuity.

Hadid’s vision for the building

fulfills the connection between the
Autostadt and the city by elevating
the first floor. But the space is not
completely open as there are 10 Figure 2.27: Ground Floor emphasizing visual and physical connections

stuctural and progammatic cones

interrupting the space. Thus she
creates and idea of spatial translu-
cency, allowing many different views
and sightlines, as well as different
bodily movement (Figures 2.27 and
2.28). The idea of movement is
the obvious design intent in Zaha’s
scheme. The N-S movement from
Autostadt to the city, the E-W move-
ment of the ICE train, the movement
of the main street Porschestrasse,
and other minor movements. Paths
are accented in her desgin, one Figure 2.28: Rendering of Phaeno Science Center emphasizing movement and connection to the site
that runs through the open ground
floor (Figure 2.29), the elongated
ramp in the building, the connection
to the pedastrian bridge right from
the building, and many other minor

Figure 2.29: Rendering of the Artificial landscape emphasizing movement and continuity

Figure 2.30: Diagram of design of cone shapes

Figure 2.31: Building exgterior showing ground level ceiling morphing into structural cones as well as
exterior wall.

Another major theme in Zaha’s
design is the emphasis on surface
continuity. The ceiling of the ground
floor is made from diamond shaped
waffle cone slab instead of square
ones, most of which are filled in, but
some are left hollow with lighting
in them. This surface then wraps
upwards, around a smoothed edge
and transforms into the outer wall,
which has a similar pattern of dia-
mond shaped windows. This logic
is carried out through her design.
The 10 cones grows upwards,
some morphing into floors, others
into ceiling trusses. The actual floor
surfaces too, often continues into
walls (Figure 2.32). In general, the
floor has smooth transitions instead
of stopping or turning abruptly, fol-
Figure 2.32: Exterior view showing similiarity between windows and
lowing a logic of natural landscape, the lights below

(Figure 2.33)

Figure 2.25: Center Building - BMW Plant

Figure 2.33: Floor treated as landscape

The winning design for Phaeno
Science Center was awarded in
2000 to Zaha Hadid. The construc-
tion of Phaeno began in March
2001, and the building opened on
November 24th, 2005 (Figures
2.35-2.40) The architects involved
included Zaha Hadid Ltd. & Mayer
Baehrle, and Free Architect Federal Figure 2.36: Construction Photo, December 03 Figure 2.40: Construction Photo, March 05

Employers Association. The master

planning and project management
were carried out by New Ground There were several companies in-
Housing Company, whom was local volved in the interior equipment and
to Wolfsburg. Structural design set-up of the Phaeno Science Cen-
for the building were done by two ter. The advisor for experimentation
companies, one was Adam Kara stations and exhibition was Joe
Taylor from London, and the other Ansel of Ansel Associates Inc. The
was Tokarz Frerichs Leipold from design of programs including labo-
Hannover, whom was also involved ratories, idea forum, science theater
Figure 2.37: Construction Photo, February 04
in the construction of Autostadt. as well as catering trade, shop,
Building Equipment was provided and administration was done by
by NEK Engineering, another local Rust + Sehle from Braunschweig.
campany. Furnishing planning was done by G
+ S + W architecture and Design,
Munich Medium Equipments, and
NEK Engineer Team. The scientific
and didactical consultation were
from Remo Besio, Switzerland, Ken
Gorbey, New Zealand, Heinz Re-
ese, Canada, Sir Richard Gregory,
Figure 2.38: Construction Photo, March 04 England, Colin Johnson, England,
and Burkhard Vettin, Germany.

Figure 2.35: Construction Photo, September 03 Figure 2.39: Construction Photo, June 04

A big challenge for Zaha Hadid
was working with Todd Blair, Mat-
thias Ossmann, and Jorg Zander
from Ansel Associates, where
there were design conflicts of
programmed spaces designed and
what was needed.

Many science artworks were

designed with a required amount of
space due to the size and volume
of these exhibits thus the architec-
ture were altered to accommodate
for the different exhibits. (Figures
Figure 2.41 Interior view of science demonstrations in the exhibition space. 2.41-2.43.) But also as Zaha Hadid
changes her design of the building
for structure and code issues,
Ansel Associates were informed
on the modifications to alter the
exhibition planning of the science


Figure 2.42 Interior view of science demonstrations in the exhibition space.

Figure 2.43 Interior view of science demonstrations in the exhibition space.

Part 3. Technology the main concourse level, only 5 appearance that they change form
of the cones punch through it as into the waffleslab itself and pres-
solids and continue up to the Roof. ent a uniform surface. However, an
These 5 cones are the main com- imporant reason for this is to pre-
ponents that the roof truss spans vent punching shear of the waffle
Structural Systems from and carry most of the load. slab around the cones where they
connect (Figure 3.2 and 3.3).
The Phaeno Science Center uses The cones and the majority of the
a variety of Structural systems with Concrete structure is site cast, All the structural systems within
only a few different materials. The with the exception of some Precast Phaeno are complicated or special
majority of the building is built of re- concrete panels which make up the in some way and the roof truss is
inforced Self Compacting Concrete, titled windows on the west facade. no exception. The Roof truss is
the primary exceptions being the exposed to the interio and spans
Roof Truss system and the sup- The Concourse level is a large the entire length of Phaeno with no
ports for it along the exterior wall. spanning waffle slab (Figure 3.4) intermediary supports except for
which is supported by the concrete the 5 Structural cones.
The 10 cones (Figure 3.1) which run cones themselves and cantiliev-
through the building are the primary ers beyond them. The waffle slab Along the Exterior wall, where the
and in fact only real structural sup- is not a typical waffle system as floor as been cantielievered past
port for the entire building, as all the form of the waffles are paral-
loads are traced back to these lelgrams in shape as opposed to the cone, the Roof Truss is support-
cones. Each cone is unique, their squares. These waffles are ori- ed by steel columns. These Col-
irregular shapes are all different ented with the building so that the umns are connected together with
and their interconnection with the long vertice is parallel with the long Irregular diagonnal members and in
Concourse level manifests in differ- walls of Phaeno. many places do not act as structure
ent ways. to the Main concrete Exterior walls.
The structural cones which hold the However where the Prefabricated
While all the cones connect with waffle slab curve outward give the Concrete window panels are, the
Figure 3.1: Phaeno Structural Cones

#/.% &,//2#/..%#4)/. Figure 3.2: Detail of floor-cone connection







Figure 3.3: Connection between waffleslab and Cone

Figure 3.4: Basic waffle slabe shape

Columns are connected by paralllel
members which run at the same
slope as the window panels and
support them (Figures 3.5 and 3.6).

The Roof Truss itself is a 2 way

verendeel truss (Figures 3.7-3.9).
While its bays are primarily square
in shape, they do not stay that way
as the Truss itself changes over
the length of the building. The
angles of the intersections become Figure 3.5: Exposed Steel Frame Wall
smaller, creating parallelgram bays,
similiar to the waffleslab but with
far more complicated geometry
(Figures 3.12 and 3.13).

Figure 3.6: Precast Wall Window Panels

Figure 3.7: Roof Truss Grid Layout

Figure 3.9: Installation of Roof Truss

Figure 3.8: Roof Truss Detail

Not only does the truss change Where the truss interesects and
direction in such a way as to connects with the Structural cones,
alter its form, but it also changes the botom section of the truss is
elevation in certain areas, where cut away, just short of the cones
it drops down nearly 2 meters at themselves while the upper part
a 45 degree angle. Generally at of the truss rests upon a concrete
these places the depth of the truss ledge that potrudes from the cones
doubles, but this is not always the themselves (Figure 3.11).
Figure 3.10: Load Path Diagram of Structural System

Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11
#/.% 2//&#/..%#4)/. Figure 3.11: Connection between Cone and Truss




Figure 3.12: Exposed Steel Trusses

Figure 3.13: Truss where bays are no longer rectangular

Floor System

The major floor system in Phaeno

Science Center is at the Concourse
level, where exhibition occurs. The
floor is held by concrete waffle slab,
which in turn is held by the struc-
tural cones (Figure 3.14).

There are many layers above the

waffle slab. In fact, between the top
of the structural waffle slab and the
very top of the floor finish, it is about
12 inches. The floor is finished in
a smooth, polished material, that
gives a very uniform and flat feel.
There are finishings of small black
circles on the floor, they are evenly
distributed. The circles are flat and top of this reinforced slab is smooth- Figure 3.14: Interior Floor Finish
aligned with the rest of the floor. ened with cement (Figure 3.21) It is
Underneath these circles are actu- then painted with white paint (Figure
ally ties of electrical wires (FIgures 3.22) and polished. black circles are
3.14 and 3.15) placed to cover the holes left by the
wires (Figure 3.14).
Although visually hidden, heavy
wiring runs above the waffle slab
(Figure 3.16). These wires are tied
into bundles in a regular manner
(Figure 3.17). The bundles are
then distributed evenly across the
floor. a layer of concrete is poured
over, leaving only the bundle heads
above (Figure 3.18).

Then grids of reinforcement bars

are placed on top (Figure 3.19). But
where the wire bundles peak out,
a small cylinder is placed over the
bundle, protecting it (Figure 3.20).
Then another layer of concrete is
poured (Figure 3.21). After the con-
crete sets, the cylinders are taken
out, leaving holes on the floor. The

Figure 3.15: Floor System Section

Figure 3.16: Floor Construction

Figure 3.17: Floor Construction

Figure 3.18: Floor Construction

Figure 3.19: Floor Construction

Figure 3.20: Laying down of cylinders to protect wire bundles

Figure 3.21: Second Slab of Concrete being poured

Figure 3.22: Finished Concrete Floor with holes for wiring

Self Compacting Concrete relied on. Many younger construc-
tion workers lack the experience to Process to achieve self-compacting
know when the concrete is settled concrete:
The development of self-compact- correctly, vibrated enough, or if the
ing concrete was the key to the concrete is flowed evenly through- 1) limit coarse aggregate content
construction of the Phaeno Science out the framework and around the
Center (Figures 3.23 and 3.24). rebars, etc. 2) low water-powder ratio

Self-compacting concreate was Self-compacting concrete does 3) use of superplasticizer

developed in Japan, Sweden and not need as much supervision as
France in the 1980s. The reason regular concrete, since the concrete By limiting coarse aggregate con-
for this new technology was to does not need to be vibrated due to tent, there is an increase in contact
achieve more durable concrete and its extremely fluidity. It is able to flow between the aggregate particles.
complex structures. through the frameworks and around The contact between particles
rebar easily and effectivly by its own makes the concrete stronger. Also,
This type of concrete was also used compound property.
to compensate for the dependency
of the skills of worker which the
strength of the concrete is highly

Figure 3.23: Structural cone during contstruction

Figure 3.24: Rebar within a cone

having less coarse aggregate will Figure 3.25

decrease the blockage of other par-

ticles allowing them to flow better.

Having a low water to powder ratio

in the concrete mixture and the use
of a superplasticizer makes the
concrete a lot more viscous. This Less coarse aggregate allows particles to
flow between, reducing the blockage that
also prevents the blockage of the occurs.

coarse aggregate because these

coarse particles can flow around in
the paste easily too, rotating and
moving out of the way of the other
particles (Figure 3.25).

This overall reduces the segrega-

tion between aggregate and mortar, Using a superplasticizer allows the coarse
further strengthening the concrete aggregate to move more freely and out of the
way of partcles.
because the particles and sub-
stance in the mix are evenly distrib-
uted. This way makes the concrete
structure strong throughout its form,
rather than having one section
stronger than the rest (Figure 3.26). SELF-COMPACTING WATER WATER
(Okamura & Ouchi) CONCRETE
- need vibration or
- uses less coarse packing
-strength rely on skill
- uses more powder of workers

- extremely fluid

- no vibrators needed


100 Figure 3.26

Another advantage of self-compact-
ing concrete is that it can reduce
about 50 percent of labor costs
because it requires less workers to
pour the concrete and vibrate the
concrete. Self-compacting concrete
requires less maintanance during
construction because the construc-
tion workers do no have to worry
as much if the concrete has poured
correctly in evenly through the

Self-compacting concrete can

be poured 80 percent faster than
normal concrete mainly because of
its physical property of being more
fluid. The concrete flows easily
through the framework, between
rebars, around corners, and into
nooks. The amount of work on the
distribution the concrete once it
is poured is significantly reduced.
Workers do not have to vibrate the
concrete which again reduce time
and energy. (Figure 3.27-3.33.)

Because self-compacting concrete

does not need to be vibrated,
it reduces the wear and tear of
frameworks, saving money. This
concrete is great for pre-cast con-
Figure 3.27: Construction workers tying rebar
crete companies who use the same
Figure 3.29: Waffle Slab Formwork around framework many times.
Figure 3.28: Rebar and formwork for Cone structural cone

Phaeno Science Center used self-
compacting concrete technology;
without it, such complex, irregular,
and demanding structure could
never be built.

The waffle slab, having obtuse and
acute angles, would be difficult to
pour with normal concrete, resulting
in lessened structural effectiveness,
which would make the long span

The concrete cones were designed

with irregular shapes, difficult for
concrete to flow through, espe- Figure 3.30: Framework Construction of Cones
cially since they are also slim and
slanted. There is also a lot of rebar
in the concrete cones (Figure 3.33)
leaving very small spacing between
bars. This structure would be ex-
tremely hard for normal concrete to
flow through, because there is high
pobablity of coarse aggregate get-
ting trapped between rebars, leave
Figure 3.31: Framework Construction of Cones Figure 3.32: Framework Construction of Cones
pockets and bubbles. The cones’
inversely-angled shape would also
be hard to vibrate.

Overall, self-compacting concrete

was the essential technology
that had to be used to make the
building’s form and structure, al-
lowing Zaha’s innovative design to
manifest physically

Figure 3.33: Framework Construction of Cones

Part 4. Program and Overall, the building has 4 levels,
Performance the first is the ground level, an
artificially landscaped piazza, roofed
by Phaeno’s main floor. Here the
whole level is open, providing visual
as well as physical connection, the
programmatic and structural cones
are the only things connecting to
the ground. The second level is
a mezzanine level (Figure 4.8).
The spaces are inside the struc-
The property lot for Phaeno Science tural cones, but still below the main
Center is 13,000 m², and the gross exhibition level. The third floor, con-
building area is 12,631 m², 9,000 course level, is the main exhibition
of which are accessible for visitors. space (Figure 4.8) This floor has a
Of that area, 7,000 m² are for active mostly open plan, with exhibitions
Figure 4.1: Main Entrance Escalator

exhibition and public laboratories. through-out. Above selective parts

More specifically, 5,900 m² are for of the concourse floor is another
general open exhibit, there is a bio level of mezzanine (Figure 4.8).
and chemical lab of 54 m², a phys- Programs from the main level flows
ics and engineering lab of 118 m², up into this level.
employing 10 personnel, a science
theater of 560 m², employing 16
personnel, and a idea-forum of 360
m². There are several dining places
in the building, a 149 m² Bistro, a
290 m² self-service restaurant, a
376 m² meeting/catering area, a
32 m² coffee and sandwich bar.
Kitchen, toilet, and storage take up
304 m², and there’s a 382 m² shop.
Other functional areas include 1500
m² of administration/management,
storage, and workshops. The under-
ground parking garage holds 400
bays and has an area of 12,600 m².
Photos of selective area are shown
in Figures 4.1 to 4.5. Diagrams of
program location in plan, section,
and axometric view are shown in
Figures 4.7 to 4.9. Diagrams of pro-
gram percentage shown in Figures
4.10 and 4.11. Figure 4.2 Concourse level from Mezzanine

Figure 4.3: View of Shop in Eastern Corner

Figure 4.4: Underneath Pheano between the cones

Figure 4.5: Coffe Bar beneath Phaeno

The building operates from Tuesday
to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. It
costs 11 euro for adults, 7 euro for
young adults, and free for 6 and
under. There are additional group
and family discounts. During the first
year of its opening, the Phaeno Sci-
ence Center received an impressive
180,000 visitors, a large portion of
which were school tours or family
with children, and the Autostadt
also helped the ticket sales. The
exhibition hosts 250 experiments for
display, all of which are scattered on
the concourse and concourse mez-
zanine floors. Figure 4.6: Large numbers of children and young
adults visiting Phaeno

Total Building Area

Figure 4.7: Location of Program within Phaeno
(sq. meter)

9000 Public Space

2000 Private Space

1600 other (circulation/bathroom)

12600 Underground parking garage

25200 TOTAL

Public and Private Area

Giftshop Laboratory
(sq. meter) Administration

7000 Exhibition Laboratory

Event Space
560 Auditorium Group
382 Gift Shop Main Cafe
376 Catering Area
Restaurant Entrance
290 Restaurant

149 Bistro
32 Coffee Bar Artificial
Landscape Bistro
304 Kitchen

218 Laboratory

1500 Administration Underground


Figure 4.8: Floorplans



Restaurant Ramp


Laboratory Laboratory

Group Entrance Entrance

Main Entrance



Giftshopv Administration Event Space

Cafe Auditorium
Group Entrance
Main Entrance



Exhibition Space Figure 4.9: Sectional Program Diagram

Cone Programmed Public Space

Cone Circulation Space
Artificial Landscape

Parking Garage

Exhibition Exhi

Stair Room
Shop we

Underground Parking Underground Parking Underground Parkin

General Total Building Area

other Underground
(circulation/bathroom) parking garage
6% 50%

Private Space

Public Space

Figure 4.10: Percentage of space use within Phaeno


Exhibition Exhibition Laboratoryy Ramp

Bathrooms Elevatorr
Staff Laboratoryy
Room Stair
Event Space

king Underground Parking Underground Parking

Public and Private Area (Excluding Underground Parking)

Administration Catering Area

2% Bistro
Kitchen Coffee Bar
Coffee Bar
Bistro 63%
2% Shop
Restaurant Laboratory
Catering Area
Figure 4.11: Percentage of programs within Phaeno

The Phaeno Science Center is not Figure 4.12: Laboratory within Phaeno
only a museum holding exhibits;
it also has biology labs, chemistry
labs, physics labs, and engineering
labs where scientists work. These
laboratories become exhibits them-
selves where exhibitioners can view
these laboratories through windows
to see the scientists at work (See
figure 3.28 and figure 3.29). This
also follows Zaha Hadid’s concept
of visual continuity where the exhibi-
tion spaces and the laboratories are
connected, but unaccessable to the
general public.

This is program element as part of

the museum exhibit further inspires
museum guests of science. This
also follows Zaha Hadid’s concept
of continuity where the exhibition
spaces and the laboratories are
connected, only visually because
exhibitioners aren’t allowed to enter
the labs due to safety reasons.

This science center also hold a

lot of public program besides the
museum part of it. It has a café,
bistro, and a restaurant. The bistro
Figure 4.13: Laboratory within one of Phaeno’s cones
and café are on the ground floor
on the artificial landscape where
they allow easy access to the public
people where they can get a quick
snack or meal see figure 3.30. A
kitchen separates the bistro and the
restaurant where it is designed to be
used for both food services.

Also there is the large auditorium

on the ground floor where it can be
used independent of the museum.
It is located near the major ramp
that connects the ground floor to the

upper floor and to the land across
the canal toward the Autostadt.
This large ramp way is designed
for major circulation among the
auditorium, the museum, the ground
level where people can have access
to the parking area or to public
transportation, and the bridge that
crosses the canal (see figure 3.31
and figure 3.32).

There is a large underground

parking garage under the artificial
landscape where staircases that cut
into the landscape allow access to
the garage.
Figure 4.14: Artificial landscape below Phaeno where Bistro entrance and a Cafe are located.

Figure 4.15: Ramp leading from Phaeno to

bridge to Autostadt

Figure 4.16: Ramp leading from Phaeno to

Bridge, looking South.


At first glance, the building almost

appears to be hovering above
ground and stretching out in all
direction with massive cantilevers.
But in reality it is held up by the
huge structural cones at its base, it
is difficult to visualize because of
the artificial landscape that merges
and becomes the cones, and the
cones merges and becomes the Figure 4.17: Exterior view of Artificial landscape and its movement into Phaeno

floor plate (Figure 4.17).

The general programmatic strategy such as event space, auditorium,

laid out by Zaha Hadid appears labs, and offices are hidden within
simple but creative. Public the structural cones.
programs and public spaces are
located on the open, ground floor of
the Phaeno Science Center to draw
people into the museum.

Besides the public space and

open ground floor, the structure
of the building also plays a part of
continuing into the main building.
The massive cones that hold up
the building are hollow inside. It is
where the entrance into the building
occur, and secondary programs oc-
cupy, creating a unique experience
of entering the main entrance of the
museum through a space-within-
space. The cones also serve to
seperate public and private interior
space. The general public exhibition
space is the entire open concourse
Figure 4.18: Cone programmed gift shop
floor, while limited access areas

Figure 4.19: Exhibition space

Figure 4.20: Cone programmed Coffee bar

Exhibition-Program With large open floor plates and span and height which add to the
Performance large spans of the building, the main flexibility of concourse level, as well
concourse level consist of open visual interest for visitors.
space that is flexible for any type or
size of exhibition (Figures 4.21 and The large cone structures allow the
4.22). The curator and exhibition large open spaces for the programs
designer has the freedom and ease to take place in. These cones hold
to fit different kinds of exhibitions semi public spaces and also the
into the space in a variety of ways, entrance to the museum where they
and it is also easy to rearrange act as the only vertical circulation of
them (Figures 4.24-4.29) the building.

There is a large steel space frame

above the concourse level, held up
by the cones and by the support in
the exterior walls, which are usually
on the cantilevered concrete slab
that is in turn, still supported by the
cones. The steel frame allows great

Figure 4.21: Concourse level exhibition space

4.22: Concourse level exhibition space Figure 4.23: Exhibit over Main Entrance

Figure 4.24: Exhibit hung from roof truss

Figure 4.25: Full height Exhibit

Although Zaha developed a clear
general strategy for dividing public
programs from limited access pro-
grams, and from vertical circulation,
she left the design and layout of the
actual exhibition open to others. Re-
sulting in the lack of co-corporation
between the exhibits with the space
they occupy. There is no correla-
tion between the two; exhibits are Figure 4.26: Interactive Exhibit

scattered throughout the open con-

course floor, with no clear system of
circulation or order. Even the other
program spaces, such as the labo-
ratories, restaurant, and gift shop,
which are in the cones lack strategy
and order. They seems to be placed
randomly into cones, based only on
the need of the amount of space.
These secondary spaces have no
relationship with the ground plane or
the concourse exhibition spaces.
It seems that all the space between
the cones is used as exhibition
space, but the organization of these
spaces are not thought of. There-
Figure 4.27: Exhibit
fore the exhibition space, which one
could argue as the most important
space of the Science Center, actu-
ally emanates secondary impor-
tance, as it feels like space left over
by the cones.

The exhibition space is a total of
7000 square feet out of 9000 square
feet of the total public interior space
of the building. It takes up sixty-five
percent of the building even though
it feels like it takes up more space.
The reason for this is that the other
public spaces, like the café, audi-
torium, etc, are usually not on the
same level as the exhibition space,
they are either above or below the
concourse floor. Even the programs
that are on the concourse level,
like the laboratories, they take up
relatively little space on that level
compared to the exhibition space.

Overall, there is little physical and

visual connection of the exhibition
space and the other spaces from
within the building. Most programs
are encased inside the cones. To
get from the exhibition space to the
auditorium or the café, one would
have to go to the main entrance
cone, go outside and below the
Figure 4.28: Exhibit building to get to those programs.

Figure 4.29: Exhibit

Organization Strategy

Figure 4.30: Within Phaeno Parking Garage

The total size of the site including attractive for pedestrians, as people
artificial landscape is about 12600 prefered to walk on the parameter
square meters large. About half of of the site.
that area is the actual foot print of
the building. Another issue that exist in the open
ground floor is its size. This semi-
The public main entrance to the underground space is immensely
museum is in the center of the site; large. For someone to walk from
one has to walk at least 60 meters one cone to the other, such as going
to get to this entrance, traveling from the auditorium to the café or
through the artificial landscape, into gift shop, would require walking
the covered ground floor space, some distance in a fairly barren and
where lights are spaced in the abandoned place, even though all of
irregular waffle slab above. One these are suppose to be one build-
may find walking under this massive ing (Figure 4.31).
monument over whelming, the sight
of concrete above and below, and In conclusion, the programmatic
the building floating above, is not strategy is interesting and creative

conceptually, but the building becomes secondary. It is simply a
doesn’t work that well in perfor- large field with focal points, whether
mance. The general strategy does it be the cones or the exhibits.
not apply to the detail layout of the
programs. The design and space
is not to scale with a human being
or the science exhibits. Especially
the open ground floor is large and
overwhelming. Although there is
continuity throughout the building,
there is no directionality of move-
ment; the main concourse space

Figure 4.31: Ground Level looking at underside of Autitorium

Part 5. Innovations and reinforced by the tilting lines and floor slab, and the heavy load they
Influences the irregular waffle slab. The main must take demanded the use of
floor plate, whose underside is the Self-Compacting Concrete, instead
ceiling of the open ground floor of regular concrete. SCC mixture
is made from a diamond shaped, is more fluid than normal concrete
quadrilateral waffle, instead of the and can flow though formwork
common rectangular kind. While and rebar more evenly, resulting
many of the waffles are filled in, in stronger concrete and even the
some are left open with lighting elimination of vibrating process.
fixtures. The lines of the waffles Phaeno Science Center is the larg-
The Phaeno Science Center is can be traced to the edge of the est building in Europe using such
innovative in design and structure, building and then curves up into technique. To compliment the great
where both are dynamic and non- the tilting lines of the walls, which spans with only 5 supporting cones,
traditional. define the diamond, quadrilateral a heavy steel truss system is used
glazing. When the building is lit at for the roof. The truss is a two way
The major design principle of the night times, lights are coming out Vierendeel truss primarily square
building is movement and conti- of both the glazing and the waffle in shape. It changes in elevation in
nuity. It is present in the visual, openings, creating even more conti- certain areas; where it drops down
physical, and surface systems. The nuity in the building. to meet the structural cones.
idea of Urban Carpet made famous
by the Contemporary Arts Center, Of course this theme of continu-
Cincinnati is played here again ity and movement can not be
as a part of the surface continu- achieved without major structural
ity principle. The entire building is innovations. The most important
lifted one story above the ground, and notable innovation is the use
leaving the first floor open with only of 10 massive concrete cones
the 10 structural cones obstructing, as the structures, eliminating the
creating a dynamic public place that need for beams and columns, and
allows various physical passages freeing the façade. However the Hadid has perhaps been one of
and visual frames. The ground cones are not only structural, they her own greatest influences, her
is artificially landscaped with the are also programmatic, creating buildings evolving from her paint-
same color as the building. The functional spaces within a space. ings transitioning from the “paper
landscape flows out of the ground 5 of the 10 cones connect only to architect” into a “built architect”. Of
smoothly and morphs into the the main concourse floor, and the course, her paintings themselves
cones which disintegrate into the other 5 continue all the way up to have deep roots in the Russian
floor plate and curves up to create the ceiling. All vertical circulation Constructivists, avant-garde and
the walls of the building. Even the systems are within the cones, as Cubism. The similiarities between
interior of Phaeno follows this logic, well as various programs such as her paintings and those of the
continuous floor curves up into labs, offices, café, and auditorium. Russian Avant-garde movement,
walls, cones, and mezzanine levels. Thus the main space left outside such as Kazimir Malevich are easy
This treatment to create surface of the cones are all for exhibition, to see.
continuity is quite experimental creating a large-span open floor
and innovative, and is even more without interruption of columns. The Her paintings and her buildings are
unique shape of the cones, waffle built from the city, where the city is

Figure 5.1: Morning in the VIllage After Snowstorm, by Kazimir Malevich

shattered into planes of different Figure 5.2: Blue Slabs, The Peak Club, by Zaha Hadid
materialities that overlap, intersect,
float among one another and the becomes an instigator of movement interior through minimal structural
building becomes an abstraction and program rather than a static elements resounds within Hadid’s
of this, becoming a part of the city form. work. An interesting parallel can
yet disjointed. It becomes apparent be drawn between Le Corbusier’s
within her paintings that it is not her Another architect of influence Villa Savoye and Phaeno Science
building itself that is the painting, on Hadid is Le Corbusier, who Center. Both buildings raise the
for the building makes up only the was a pioneer in the Modernist main floor above ground, support-
smallest part, but the context, the movement of architecture. He ing it on Concrete structure (narrow
city and surroundings themselves promoted less structure with open columns in Savoye, vs. the cones in
that become the painting. floor plans and “Free facades”. Phaeno). Both structural systems
Interestingly, he was a supporter also allow an open floor plan on
of minimal decoration and Clean, the interior, without the need for
Hadid’s Teacher and colleague exact angles, basing much of his intermittent supporting walls.
Koolhaas also helped shape and architecture off of the Golden Hadid of course takes this one step
influence her architectural style. Section. It is ironic that Hadid then further and the cones themselves
Both are part of the Deconstructiv- creates shapes and buildings which actually hold program. Finally, this
ist movement, and working with in- have no discernable connection to also allows the walls to be free of
teraction and “Cross-programming” this principle which controlled so the structure and have greater glaz-
of space, of movement instead of much of his architecture. Still, his ing or other materiality than might
“form following function”. Building use of concrete and freeing up the otherwise be possible.

Bibliography Figure 2.8 Lau 2005 Figure 3.13 Mayer Bährle
Figure 2.9 Lau 2005 Figure 3.14 Mayer Bährle
Figure 2.10 Lau 2005 Figure 3.15
List of Images Figure 2.11 Lau 2005 Figure 3.16 Mayer Bährle
Figure 2.12 Lau 2005 Figure 3.17 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.0 Figure 2.13 Lau 2005 Figure 3.18 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.1 Mayer Bährle Figure 2.14 Lau 2005 Figure 3.19 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.2 Hadid Figure 2.15 Lau 2005 Figure 3.20 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.3 Hadid Figure 2.16 Phaeno Figure 3.21 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.4 Figure 2.17 Hasse Figure 3.22 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.5 Hadid Figure 2.18 “Das Technorama” Figure 3.23 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.6 El Corquis Figure 2.19 Phaeno Figure 3.24 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.7 El Corquis Figure 2.20 Ansel Figure 3.25 Okamura & Ouchi
Figure 1.8 El Corquis Figure 2.21 Ansel Figure 3.26 Okamura & Ouchi
Figure 1.9 El Corquis Figure 2.22 Ansel Figure 3.27 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.10 El Corquis Figure 2.23 Figure 3.28 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.11 El Corquis Figure 2.24 Mayer Bährle Figure 3.29 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.12 El Corquis Figure 2.25 Hadid Figure 3.30 Doka
Figure 1.13 El Corquis Figure 2.26 Hadid Figure 3.31 Doka
Figure 1.14 El Corquis Figure 2.27 GA Document 2005 Figure 3.32 Doka
Figure 1.15 El Corquis Figure 2.28 Mayer Bährle Figure 3.33 Doka
Figure 1.16 El Corquis Figure 2.29 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.17 El Corquis Figure 2.30 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.1 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.18 El Corquis Figure 2.31 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.2 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.19 El Corquis Figure 2.32 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.3 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.20 El Corquis Figure 2.33 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.4 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.21 El Corquis Figure 2.34 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.5 Mayer Bährle
Figure 1.22 El Corquis Figure 2.35 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.6 Ansel
Figure 1.23 El Corquis Figure 2.36 Ansel Figure 4.7
Figure 1.24 El Corquis Figure 2.37 Ansel Figure 4.8
Figure 1.25 El Corquis Figure 2.38 Ansel Figure 4.9
Figure 1.26 El Corquis Figure 4.10
Figure 1.27 El Corquis Figure 3.1 Figure 4.11
Figure 1.28 El Corquis Figure 3.2 Figure 4.12 Ansel
Figure 3.3 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.13 Ansel
Figure 2.1 Hartemink 1996 Figure 3.4 Figure 4.14 Mayer Bährle
Figure 2.2 Filiss 1999 Figure 3.5 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.15 Mayer Bährle
Figure 2.3 Schneider Figure 3.6 Mayer Bährle Figure 4.16 Mayer Bährle
Figure 2.4 Schneider Figure 3.7 Figure 4.17 Mayer Bährle
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Figure 4.23 Ansel
Figure 4.24 Ansel
Figure 4.25 Ansel
Figure 4.26 Ansel
Figure 4.27 Ansel
Figure 4.28 Ansel
Figure 4.29 Ansel
Figure 4.30 Mayer Bährle
Figure 4.31 Mayer Bährle

Figure 5.1 “The Artchive”

Figure 5.2 The Gilbert Collection


Minat Terkait