A famous mathematical pattern has inspired the stunning
curved sail façade of Bristol University’s new
£11 million Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information.
The façade, which was completed this week, features
cladding based on the Fibonacci sequence. It is isolated from
the rest of the building to prevent vibration from the wind travelling
across it, affecting experiments taking place inside the Centre.
Discovered by Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in the
12th century, the sequence became widely known after it was described
in Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code.
Starting with 0 and 1, each new number in the series is simply the sum
of the two before it. The start of the sequence runs: 0, 1,
1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21…
The sequence can be found regularly in Nature with spirals on
a sunflower head, the arrangement of scales on pine cones and the
spiral on snail shells all following the same mathematical pattern.
The Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information, built by
Willmott Dixon Construction, is a four-storey concrete-framed structure
containing some of the quietest laboratories in the world.
Clive Pople, operations director at Willmott Dixon said:
“We have never done anything as complex as this and it has
certainly been a challenge. Due to the unique nature of the building we
have worked extremely closely with the University to ensure that every
detail has been implemented correctly. With no other examples
in the country to act as benchmark we have been working in completely
Brian Drysdale, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the
South West said: “The Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum
Information is a monumental facility in Bristol which will attract
interest from across the globe. We are excited to be working
with the University to provide a laboratory which will demonstrate its
forward thinking reputation in terms of scientific advances and
expertise in this field.
“The completion of the curved entrance is another
significant step towards the completion of this cutting-edge project
and further enhances this distinct and exciting building.”
Based on Tyndall Avenue, the Centre for Nanoscience and
Quantum Information will offer extremely low levels of acoustic noise,
vibration and air movements and provide a world class facility for
scientific research. As well as addressing deep questions in
fundamental science, the research to be carried out in the building
will offer opportunities for the development of future computing,
communications and health technologies, as well as advanced materials,
for example for the aerospace industry.