📸Nicoló Lanfranch 🖊Sara Costi/ Casalgrande Padana
Beautiful geometric porcelain stoneware flooring at the Experimenta Science Centre in Germany makes a bold fashion statement while at the same time pointing to being a greener way to pave. The tile flooring? Italian style, of course!
The extension of the centre was runner-up in the Shopping and Business Centres category of the 12th annual Grand Prix international architecture contest in May 2022. It was designed by Sauerbruch Hutton and is located in Heilbronn, an island on river Neckar, in Germany. The centre is the largest science centre in Germany and attracts all comers, young and old.
Architecturally, the structure covers an area of 17,720m² and was conceived as a helicoidal sequence of steel and glass spaces that blend the interiors with the surrounding landscape. This super-modern complex has many striking features, and the eye cannot help being drawn to its beautiful flooring.
Italian design expertise
Porcelain stoneware pentagons (60 x 60cm) from the Architecture collection of Casalgrande Padana (www.casalgrandepadana.it) was specified in cool gray, medium gray, and dark colour versions.
According to the supplier, the role of the gray is to create a harmonious geometric pattern consistent with the entire project’s volumetric dynamism.
After crossing the spacious foyer, visitors move up along the helix through four floors of
themed exhibition spaces focusing on science and technology. Younger visitors will love the
interactive multimedia installations that allow them to apply what they’ve just learnt.
The themed areas on each floor are laid out in a staggered horseshoe pattern around the building’s core, and here is where the interactive stations are located. Finally, continuing along the helix, you get to a beautiful panoramic terrace overlooking the entire Neckar valley and the rooftop planetarium and auditorium.
Moving downwards to the basement, you’ll find the 360° Science Dome theatre and spaces for
temporary exhibitions. The Experimenta Science Centre makes learning about science and
technology fun and easy, and this educational purpose is reinforced by the experimental approach of its architecture as the photos will reveal.
The supplier’s porcelain stoneware tiles are made solely with natural raw materials. They
are durable, non-absorbent, and resist temperature fluctuations, frost, and weather agents.
The are not prone to warp, and their mechanical strength makes them maintain
their characteristics and colours unchanged over time.
Other benefits include their UV-resistance, and designers can request a special antibacterial technology that prevents mould, yeast, and odours in any setting.
Façade cladding tiles can be ordered with a special self-cleaning treatment that in the presence of sunlight, triggers a reaction that reduces bacteria and air pollutants and breaks down dirt deposits. These deposits are then washed away by rainwater, thanks to the super hydrophilicity of the ceramic surface.