The Life Science Lab is a 4,800 sf working laboratory space within the St. Louis Science Center, one of the most visited science centers in the world. The Life Science Lab is dedicated to educational programming and allows visitors to perform authentic life science experiments in addition to a variety of guided or independent learning activities.
To enclose the lab, HKS architects specified Panelite ClearShade honeycomb glazing, which is directionally transparent, to provide dynamic views both into and out of the lab. Due to the tubular nature of the honeycomb insert within the ClearShade glazing unit, ever-changing degrees of transparency and opacity depend on proximity and viewing angle. Cone of vision is most restricted when the viewer is very close to the glass, or at a steep angle to the glass. Cone of vision is widest when the viewer is farther from the glass or directly perpendicular to it.
This dynamic quality allows visual privacy to educators and students in the lab so that they can focus without the sense of being in a fishbowl. At the same time, it provides a sense of engagement with the rest of the Science Center. Those in the lab have ever-changing views out towards the larger space, and visitors in the main space can catch glimpses of the activities going on in the lab.
The sense of engagement fostered by the ClearShade honeycomb glazing contributes to the experience of discovery and fun that is central to the Science Center.
ClearShade honeycomb glazing is suited to both exterior and interior applications. Used as façade, clerestory or skylight/roof glazing, it offers outstanding daylighting and solar heat control. Used as interior glazing, it offers excellent durability and acoustics. In both exterior and interior applications, ClearShade provides dynamic views and is available in a range of design options.
Architect: HKW Architects
Photo and Video: Sam Fentress
Product: ClearShade IGU CS-TC7-1000-1000