American Physical Society: an intimate and open space to promote scientific research

A few miles from New York City, Marvel Architects redesigns the headquarters of the most important association for scientific research on physics, welcoming nature and scholars.

American Physical Society, Marvel Architects

Just 70 miles away from Manhattan, Ridge, in Long Island, has been the American Physical Society’s hometown for over one century. The headquarters of the most important association of scientific research on physics in the United States was an anonymous but functional 4,000 sqm spec-building before the ultimate renovation by Marvel Architects.

American Physical Society, Marvel Architects
The double metallic facade to filter light on computers' screens and create shadow tricks on the floor.

As Marvel’s co-founder Guido Hartray explains: “The renovation had to consider the prohibition of a horizontal expansion due to a protected area”, a water-bearing ecosystem of mosses, wild flowers and pitch-pines. Thus, the 2,000 square meters extension was made vertically and working on the facade of the pre-existing structure. A double metal scaffolding and a wavy roof have been added to the red brick wall of the original building in order to create some light tricks on the floor. 

The double metallic skin covering the building is made of two elements: an outer wall of ultra-insulating aluminium and a net for climbing plants “in order to filter the impact of the sun rays on the researchers’ computers screens and connecting the building with the surrounding nature” continues Hartray.

The idea of merging a rational space with the fluidity of thought and exchange proper to scientific research is the main focus of this project based on a synthesis of rigor and openness. The new central lounge area to share new findings in a warm environment, is its symbol. 

American Physical Society
Marvel Architects
Ridge, Long Island, NY
6000 sqm
David Sundberg/ESTO

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