Zeiss Innovation Center
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This new research facility channels the flows of the site and building to create an ecological wetland park. When the Bionic team discovered a seasonal wetland at the center of the 11.65-acre site, they seized the opportunity to create an integral landscape that engages environmental dynamics, site flows, and technology as forces for human purpose and ecological function. Site infrastructure, grading, and building systems were configured to efficiently capture surface water and deliver it to multiple above-grade treatment cells.
A polar geometry organizes the site into a gradient that ranges from precise and mechanized to unstructured and soft. Water is conveyed across the gradient from the treatment cells to channels below the central walkway to the wetland, where it saturates expansive soils and supports native plant communities selected to reactivate the site’s biodiversity. A public trail around the wetland includes interpretive elements and educational signage, while a kinetic sculpture by Ned Kahn engages dynamic wind patterns and animates the site entry. This welcoming public gesture invites the community to experience the ecological park and learn about the environmental and technological forces at play.
When the design team identified a seasonal wetland on the 11.65-acre site, they saw an opportunity to create an innovative and integrated landscape.
A large-scale kinetic sculpture framed by grasses emphasizes the unique character of the project and its juxtaposition of natural systems and precise, human-made environments.
The site’s wind patterns inspired the sculpture. Contrasting textures intermingle as the blades of metal and grass move together in the breeze.