ALUPROF at the service of science and culture. The Professor Jerzy Stelmach Maritime Science Centre in Szczecin features the company’s systems

The Professor Jerzy Stelmach Maritime Science Centre in Szczecin is a building which warrants attention for a number of reasons. The imposing volume, which resembles the hull of ship, not only reflects the character of the city as a port, but also exemplifies the harmonious combination of design and functionality, creating a space which is both visitor and environmentally friendly. Achieving an effect of this kind was possible, in part, thanks to the use of innovative systems from ALUPROF, a company at the forefront of the architectural systems industry.

One building. Multiple functions

The developer decided to choose the architect for the Maritime Science Centre by way of a competition. The winner turned out to be Piotr Płaskowicki of Piotr Płaskowicki & Partnerzy Architekci, a practice with an impressive number of public buildings to its credit. However, at the construction stage, it was decided that the facility would take on some additional functions with a view to its becoming a state-of-the-art, interactive centre of science. This prolonged the handover significantly; from the start of the design work to completion, it took eleven years.

The time was not wasted, though. The centre is located on Lasztownia Island, on the eastern side of the Oder River, at the heart of Szczecin. It is down to the developer’s determination and Piotr Płaskowicki’s bold approach that it is not only captivating in appearance, but is also one of Poland’s most modern museums. The attractions awaiting visitors include a planetarium, a multimedia exhibition focused on seafaring and more than two hundred interactive points. With a total useable area of 7681 square metres, it is hardly surprising that it covers three levels.

Dramatic dimensions and a striking façade

The Maritime Science Centre in Szczecin draws the eye for several reasons. First come its arresting dimensions; the building is 122 metres long and 14 metres high. Next is the original shape of the volume, reminiscent of a ship’s hull. Finally, there is its equally original, aluminium and glass double-skin façade, which features a marked angle, inclining by 22 to 42 degrees from the perpendicular. The outer skin was created using coloured elevation panels. In their layout and form, they evoke an obvious association with shipping containers stacked one on top of another. The inner skin is a black expanded metal, with a texture that creates an appealing spatial effect.

The uniqueness of the centre is heightened even further by the way that the side walls have been positioned at different angles to each other, meaning that the building obtains different faces, depending on the side it is viewed from. Another crucial point is the fact that the building not only captivates people with its appearance, but also follows the principles of sustainable building to a T.

Design and ecology in harmony, thanks to systems by ALUPROF

To a great extent, the attractive appearance of the Professor Jerzy Stelmach Maritime Science Centre is the result of the ALUPROF aluminium architectural systems it features. One example is the MB-SR50N mullion and transom wall system. The version used for the centre is finished with flat horizontal strips. This made it possible to create a façade with slender dividing lines and, at the same time, obtain a harmonised chequerboard look. The system is also notable for its high performance in terms of thermal isolation. The other ALUPROF solutions used for the centre were a skylight from the MB-SR50N HI+ façade system, with MB-RW smoke control windows, MB-86SI windows with a thermal break and MB-78EI fire partitions with doors and fire ratings of EI15 to EI90.

As ALUPROF’s Sebastian Zawadka, Regional Director for Domestic Sales emphasises:

The Professor Jerzy Stelmach Maritime Science Centre in Szczecin is another important project in ALUPROF’s portfolio. Thanks to architect Piotr Płaskowicki’s innovative approach and our products, amongst others, the façade is unique and the entire building has become another major landmark on the map of the city. The aluminium architectural systems were made by Gosco FP. We’re very pleased that, as a supplier of aluminium systems, we are taking part in the creation of such important buildings, which not only delight the eye and constitute an important cultural element of their city, but also fulfil the concept of sustainable development and play a vital role in creating environmentally friendly urban spaces