The European Center for Geological Education
The ECEG is a multi-functional research and development center. It is a meeting place for geologists from around the world, located in a depleted quarry Korzecko. The challenge was to fulfill the functional requirements with the smallest possible impact with the existing surroundings.
The project is located in old, exploited quarry, 500m from the ruins of medieval royal castle. The rectangular blocks of the buildings were scattered around the quarry like freshly loosened stone blocks.
The glass corridor and the landscape openings cropping pictures provide constant link between the interior and landscape.
The façade is a reference, but also a game with traditional stone masonry techniques used in the region, including the nearby castle and regional huts.
The ECEG is a complex of five buildings: 1-entrance lobby, canteen and auditorium for 240 people, 2- research laboratory and auditorium, 3, 4, 5 hotel base for staff, guests and students.
External courtyards open onto rocks and a view of the valley create cosy spaces for education and integration. Interior courtyards lit by sunlight are a space that serve for communication and for the integration of residents.
The challenge was to find balance between aspects related to energy efficiency of the buildings, the use of renewable energy sources, combined with an optimal cost and respect for the surrounding nature, animate and inanimate.
The basis for reducing energy consumption: optimum use of daylight, protection against overheating by using highly-selective glass, internal and external blinds, use of ”gray water”, surface water retention tanks, possibility of natural ventilation in the rooms, high thermal insulation envelope, high heat capacity of the building, green roofs, BMS – monitoring energy consumption, managing energy consumption through all the integrated systems.
The main source of heating and cooling for the buildings are heat pumps with a ground heat exchanger. The lower source consists of 91 wells drilled 120m deep. Water is heated thanks to the solar installation in the form of solar collectors placed on the roofs.
The foundation of a landscape design was preserving the all-natural vegetation and plant communities, therefore we use on the ground and green roofs only naturally occurring plant species in this area.
Main structure material of the building is reinforced concrete. Raw structure, concrete walls cast in wooden alike shuttering are interior finishing material for common spaces. The buildings differ from each other by the color of the floors and woodwork. The interior materials reflect the need for high chemical and physical resistance.
The external appearance of the buildings was based on a contrasting combination of raw stone facades with different tectonics with flat panels of glass viewing areas and the connector.
The facade is made of chipped stone blocks of limestone excavated from a neighboring quarry in Bolechowice ,10 km away.
The rock produced during the excavations was used to create the area for outdoor activities, the surface of internal roads and the bands around the buildings. The visual effect of the facade will be positively influenced by the laps of time. The vegetation will surround the buildings.
Natural rock was exposed in the substrate of the building for the external walls of the underground auditorium. It is a place with a unique microclimate, which is also a “showing nearly 1 milion years of Earth’s history for visiting geologists.