MONA Heavy Metals Lab

MONA Heavy Metals Lab









Shortlisted competition entry



The Heavy Metals Lab takes the form of a giant scientific instrument, an inhabitable barometer of pollution levels within the Derwent estuary. The scheme consists of a flowing array of heavy duty, industrial galvanised steel pipes that wrap the various programmatic elements of the project to create a distinctive, unified form. The form of the Heavy Metals Lab is inspired both by scientific lab equipment and by the vernacular industrial architectural language found on the banks of the Derwent.


Visitors to the lab approach via a narrow pier along which are located a number of steel information discs. Each describes one of twelve variables which are being measured by the Heavy Metals lab. From each disc emerges four pipes leading to tanks on the opposite side of the pier. Each tank represents a different global location. The Lab has been designed as a floating building. When on site at MONA the lab will be located adjacent to the pier within a boat house formed from the same galvanised ribs that support the data tanks.