16 Jan IRPC Innovation Center / Architects 49
IRPC Innovation Center / Architects 49
Text description provided by the architects. The Integrated Refinery Petrochemical Complex is a center for pioneering petrochemical innovation, making it the first fully integrated petrochemical complex in Southeast Asia, and securing its leading position in the Thai petrochemical industry. The concept was to create an environment conducive to research and is open to visitors with the aim to promote a better understanding of the industry.
A49 based the design of the Innovation Center on three principles— “Flexible Labs” adaptable spaces for future research; “Collective Brain” brainstorming spaces, as innovation is born both inside and outside of the labs; and “Integrated Green” architecture. IRPC’s innovative materials are also showcased by incorporating them into the design.
The u-shaped complex, with a central space linking the two research wings, reduces the walking distance between the two buildings and provides an area for impromptu discussions and interaction. The laboratories are oriented on an east-west axis to minimize the amount of sunlight entering the building, while the 15-meter depth allows ample natural light into the interior spaces. The public areas, such as meeting rooms and exhibition spaces, are located on the ground floor for convenient access. Research labs, offices and other restricted areas are located on the upper floors.
The double-skin façade, with alternating frosted glass and openings, offers both heat protection as well as views and light from the outside. At the same time, it offers visitors a glimpse of the workings within the labs. In keeping with the intent to promote interaction, the walkways and common areas have glass façades, creating a light and open atmosphere.
The building’s main glass façade also faces south, with views of IRPC’s industrial areas. The long-span structure supports the use of space and enables a bridge to be formed, linking the two research wings. This bridge also serves to conceal mechanical and electrical systems that run between the two buildings.