Science and Tech park, Botswana

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SHoP Architects — one of Fast Company’s 2010 Most Innovative Companies — has won a competition to design a colossal $50 million science and tech park in Botswana. A project initiated by the Botswanan government, the park is expected to catapult this nation built on diamonds and beef into the 21st century.BotswanaInnovationHub_4 BotswanaInnovationHubeSHoP_7

The Botswana Innovation Hub is designed to throw start-ups, global corporations, and research and health organizations under one massive green roof stretched long and low over part of a 57-hectare site of barren veldt in the capital city of Gaborone. The design is a clutch of lean volumes reminiscent of sand dunes that link via bridges to create an intimate community (or as intimate as you can get in 270,000 square feet). A raft of green technologies, from rain water collectors to photovoltaic cells, will help the building achieve LEED certification, a first in Botswana. This is sexy stuff — sexy enough, the hope goes, to attract outsiders to what’s effectively the middle of corporate-nowhere.

And the rhetoric here is irresistible to the West: A nation rich in natural, but ultimately limited, resources wants to convert to a knowledge-based economy and uses starchitecture, that evergreen symbol of institutional greatness, to literally cultivate its ambitions. The question, of course, is whether it’ll work — or just end up a white elephant like some other places we’ve heard about nearby.

 

(Photo’s & Text courtesy of E-Architect)

 

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This entry was published on August 5, 2014 at 21:37. It’s filed under Architecture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Science and Tech park, Botswana

  1. Is this place really being built?

  2. I can see an eye-sore coming on….

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