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Editor's Choice

MAX IV Laboratory Landscape

designed by /

Location: Lund / Sweden / Type: Corporate/Company Garden / Infrastructure / Built: 2016 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on March 28, 2017

Editor's note

The purpose of this strange landscape is to reduce ground vibrations from the highway for the needs of synchrotron radiation laboratory MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. Roughly – the more chaotic the surface in terms of topography, the more vibrations will be absorbed into these tumulus kind of landforms. Further ecological measures were undertaken to provide for sustainable maintenance, like the use of sheep, effective storm-water management etc. It’s interesting how pure engineering sometimes gives birth to new typologies that also offer an interesting experience.

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We are happy that Snøhetta shared this presentation with us. Max IV Laboratory project was also presented by Jenny B. Osuldsen, partner at Snøhetta, at the first Landezine LIVE on January 20th, 2017 in Ljubljana. You can see the entire lecture by Jenny B. Osuldsen at the end of this presentation.

Since 2011, Snøhetta has been working on the development of a unique landscape design for the MAX IV Laboratory. Located in the city of Lund in southern Sweden, the MAX IV Laboratory Landscape is designed with the aim of creating a functional landscape solution for the high-performance synchrotron radiation laboratory MAX IV. MAX IV is a national laboratory operated jointly by the Swedish Research Council and Lund University. The synchrotron facility is created by FOJAB architects, and Snøhetta has designed the 19 hectares landscape park. MAX IV was officially opened on June 21st 2016. The landscape design is based on a set of unique parameters to support the performance of the laboratory research, including measures such as mitigating ground vibrations from nearby highways, storm water management, and meeting the city’s ambitious sustainability goals.

The MAX IV is the first part of a larger transformation of the area northeast of Lund aiming to turn agricultural land into a ‘Science City’. The creation of a new, green public park rather than a fenced, introverted research center makes a difference in the public realm. The MAX IV site is a green site, and the image of the meadow vegetation on sloping hills as a recreational area is setting a new standard for research facilities’ outdoor areas. MAX IV has been a collaborative process together with the client, consultants and construction developer.

The development of the landscape architecture design is based on four important criteria:

1 – Mitigating ground vibrations

Testing led by researchers and engineers revealed that traffic on the neighboring highway (E22) was causing ground vibrations that could in uence the experiments in the laboratories. By creating slopes and a more chaotic surface, the amount of ground vibrations has been reduced.

2 – Mass balance

With focus on optimizing the reuse of the excavated masses on site, a cut and fill strategy was employed. This secures the option of reversing the land to agricultural use when the synchrotron is no longer on site. By uploading the digital 3D model directly into the GPS-controlled bulldozers, we were able to relocate the masses to their nal position in one operations, and no masses were transported off site.

3 – Stormwater management

The city planning department of Lund restricts the quantity of water permitted to run into the city’s pipelines, and water management inside the site’s boundaries. Dry and wet ponds are therefore designed for both the 1-year and the 100-year storm water.

4 – Plant selection and maintenance

The discovery of the nearby natural reserve area at Kungsmarken made it possible to use a selection of natural species by harvesting hay and spreading it on the new, hilly landscape. The maintenance strategy includes a combination of grazing sheep and conventional machines suitable for meadow-land.

Wavelengths and process

On the MAX IV Lab site, ground vibrations are commonly created by wavelengths between 10 to 40m in height and follow the surface of the ground. The flatter the landscape, the more likely these vibrations will interfere with the scientific experiments in the laboratories. This knowledge initiated a distribution of numerous mounds to create a desired uneven topography, leading to a bold pattern, manage the water run-off and mass balance on site. 3D-modelling proved crucial for several reasons. The design layout was established by extracting the nature of vibrations into rational values inserted in a generic model (Grasshopper; a Rhino plug-in). In plan, intersecting tangents radiating from the major storage ring form the first basis of the wave pattern. These align with the positions of potential future laboratories, and the starting points were de ned by 10 to 40m vibration wavelengths and a 4.5m amplitude. The Dynamics group stressed the fact that the more chaotic combinations of waves, the better.

© Snøhetta

© Snøhetta

A second set of waves was established from a spiral movement centered in the storage ring merging with the site boundary. Our digital model enabled continuous testing of the pattern’s effect on mitigating the ground vibrations. The step from advanced geometry to fabrication is still one of the largest challenges we face in design today. In MAX IV, the process was like having a giant 3D printer producing the project on a 1:1 scale. The high-tech research facility together with the low- tech meadowland creates the iconic image of the waves that protects the research facility from the vibrations. The digital model gets a final analog interpretation through the hand of the machine operator and native meadow grasses maintained by sheep to tell a fun and functional story of this research laboratory.

Jenny B. Osuldsen, Snøhetta, at the first Landezine LIVE:

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