Experimenta 21 concrete tower with irregular apertures

Experimenta 21, a new addition to the university campus of Universidad Siglo 21 in Córdoba (AR), is a concrete tower by Morini Arquitectos, made from prefabricated and pre-stressed slabs. To maximise the daylight and emphasise the university’s ‘unconventional’ character, the windows have irregular geometric shapes and are littered all across the façade.

The tower, which is 41 metres (134.5 feet) high, was originally masterplanned by César Pelli in 1999. Using sliding formwork, the façade was made in 14 days of continuous concrete pouring. The slabs were mounted on metal brackets fixed to the perimeter partitions. The rest of the building was made with a metallic structure of rolled profiles, assembled on site with bolted joints.

The interior layout is simple but flexible, and it is arranged around two vertical courtyards, which is the free space left by the metallic structure of the elevator passage and the glass floors supported by a metallic lattice. These voids rise through the building, providing natural light and ventilation.

To reduce the carbon footprint of the project, the architects made large apertures – which also increase the amount of natural light coming in – and reducing thermal loss. According to Archdaily, rainwater is collected and stored in a rooftop cistern, from where if descents through the concrete walls. It is then collected in a transparent tank that doubles as the entrance hall’s roof, where it is pumped back up to the upper reservoir in a continuous circle.

Experimenta 21 is made up of a set of workshops and laboratories where teaching utilises advanced and unconventional techniques and technologies.

Photos: Gonzalo Viramonte (via Archdaily)