PA Technology Center UK
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Architect Richard Rogers
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Location Melbourn, Hertfordshire, England   map
Date 1975 to 1983   timeline
Building Type commercial laboratory, R & D center
 Construction System glazed and enameled panels over steel frame
Climate mild temperate
Context rural
Style High-Tech Modern
Notes A classic "ground-scraper", resting lightly despite the building's large extent.
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Discussion PA Technology Center UK Commentary

"The design response resulted in single-storey suspended steel structure, rapidly erectable as a kit of parts of standard components pre-fabricated off site.

"The basic building concept is a central linear spine: this glazed arcade houses services, circulation and related activities. Open laboratory and office zones, as well as meeting rooms and administration facilities are located within 22.8m clear-span spaces to either side of the 8m wide by 80m long arcade.

"The sevices are centrally located in a bay by bay system, allowing for future growth without major alteration and disruption of work areas, services and plant rooms."

— Barbie Campbell Cole and Ruth Elias Rogers, ed. Richard Rogers + Partners. p45.

The Creator's Words

"Though a building must be complete at any one stage, it is our belief that in order to allow for growth and change it should be functionally and therefore visually open-ended. This indeterminate form must offer legible architectural clues for the interpretation of future users. The dichotomy between the complete and the open nature of the building is a determinant of the aesthetic language.We design each building so that it can be broken down into elements and sub-elements which are then hierarchically organised so as to give a clearly legible order. A vocabulary is thereby created in which each element expresses its process of manufacture, storage, erection and demountablitiy."

— Richard Rogers. from Barbie Campbell Cole and Ruth Elias Rogers, ed. Richard Rogers + Partners. p12.

Resources
Sources on PA Technology Center UK

Frank Russell, ed. Architectural Monographs: Richard Rogers + Architects. London, New York: Academic Editions, 1985. Color photo of double-height reception area, f1, p50. photo of phase 1 and 2 with double height reception, f1, p48. photo of double-height reception area, f1, p50.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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