How to Tame a Circle

On architectural solutions for a form refusing to cooperate by using the example of the Bioscience Innovation Centre in Zagreb

Photo: Miljenko Bernfest

Photo: Miljenko Bernfest

Photo: Miljenko Bernfest

Photo: Miljenko Bernfest

Designing a building with a perfectly circular floorplan is a demanding architectural task. Every architect has probably made at least once attempt to build a round house and has been faced with circumstances which were significantly different from those  encountered when working with orthogonal or any other freer geometry. A perfect circle easily misleads us, as such a building strongly stands out from the environment and its envelope immediately distinguishes it as a separate entity. The implosion of requisite space within a form offers a sense of meaningfulness and rationality. However, this also creates a whole range of problems. The building might appear repulsive from the outside, and its convex forms are not inviting. In the case of a circular building, one cannot simply include an entrance with a porch. It is interesting to look for examples of how this situation was resolved in the history of architecture. For example, Niemeyer most frequently avoids this by submerging the entrance into the ground in front of a circular building, or somewhere unexpected introduces an independent entrance element at its middle.

The complete article is published in Summer issue of Piranesi No. 38, Summer 2016, Vol. 24.

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Project Data

Architect: Davor Katušić

Project Team: Jana Kocbek, Daria Štrelov, Tina Filjak Juračić, Margareta Ćurić, Robert Franjo, Martina Ivrlač, Goran Raspor

Structure: Studio Gif d.o.o.

Installations: Ipro-inženjering d.o.o.

Fire Protection: Inspekting d.o.o.

Architectural Details: Mateo Biluš

Client: hamag-bicro

Total Area: 6757 m²

Completion: 2015