Client Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, Republic of Cuba
Location Havana, Cuba
Located on the outskirts of Havana, the Centre for Advanced Studies is a 14-hectare life sciences research campus for up to 300 staff. Jestico + Whiles were approached by Dr. Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart to design two buildings on the site; an iconic 2000sqm hub with 180 seat lecture theatre, café, meeting rooms and offices and the adjacent 1,800sqm research facility accommodating an 800sqm ISO 7 cleanroom.
The sculptural hub building responds to its tropical climate with an over-sailing curved roof which provides solar shading and announces the site entrance. During the wet season, downpours are funnelled dramatically from the roof into a reflective pool below, which also provides evaporative cooling during the dry season. Penetrating this roof, a tiled conical volume houses the lecture theatre and acts as a landmark for the campus. Internally, the naturally ventilated double height entrance foyer and café promotes collaboration between scientists.
Clad in render, cement tiles and perforated aluminium, the research building accommodates a bay and chase cleanroom, plenum above and utility wing to the south. A covered walkway leads from the hub building across a planted courtyard to a shaded glazed corridor with views into the cleanroom, showcasing the advanced research within.
'The final design completely corresponds to the requirements initially set out.'
— Hugo A. Gutierrez, Centre for Advanced Studies, Cuba