Irons Foulner were part of the team that won the international design competition for this building project. Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise Tayside wanted to build a Science Centre in Dundee as part of the UK network of Science Centres which would reflect the City's particular international reputation in the life sciences. The brief was to design a large iconic and instantly recognisable building that would provide flexible exhibition space and other public facilities.
The building was also to be energy efficient and ‘transparent’, so that the building services were themselves part of the exhibition. All of this had to be achieved within a very limited budget, even though the project had substantial financial assistance from the National Lottery and the Welcome Foundation.
Irons Foulner designed a large displacement ventilation system supplemented by natural stack effect ventilation to take maximum advantage of the cooling effect of the external air without the requirement for artificial cooling. Heat recovery, high efficiency boilerplant, high levels of insulation and low energy lighting were all also part of the design to produce the most energy efficient building practical.
The internal and external lighting design was conceived to reinforce the architect’s iconic ‘toblerone’ main elevation, which is now one of the most familiar images of the City.