The Spaceplates Greenhouse has been commissioned from Danish architects N55 as part of the South Bristol Skills Academy at Hengrove Park.
The project was developed through detailed discussion with horticultural staff at the Skills Academy, who now use the greenhouse during teaching. The landscaping around the greenhouse is being developed and delivered by staff and students at the college.
The design of the greenhouse originates from the ‘pure plate’ structure which occurs in natural structures such as sea urchins, which are based on a hexagonal geometry. The pure plate structure is an elegant way of creating doubly-curved forms. Unlike in the lattice structures that are frequently used in much contemporary architecture, in pure plate structure the structural system and the cladding is one and the same thing. The geometrical and structural characteristics allow for extremely economical and simple building systems at any scale from small units to larger spans.
The greenhouse is constructed using an innovative system of connections in aluminium and polycarbonate. Inside, the greenhouse accommodates workspace, growing space and teaching space.