Kingspan, the global leader in high-performance insulation and building technologies, has just opened the doors to its brand-new global innovation centre, IKON, at company headquarters in Co. Cavan.
Working with Dublin-based international design firm, Millimetre Design, the 20,976 square foot space, built entirely using Kingspan products, has been created not only to act as the test and development centre for the next generation of Kingspan products, solutions and services, but also to offer visitors a glimpse into the building world of tomorrow.
Mike Stenson, Head of Innovation at Kingspan, said: “This building and its spectacular design represents our committed team and the innovative products and services that will be delivered from IKON. Millimetre Design, reliable and highly qualified, clearly delighted in every aspect of this exciting and exceptional project. Together, we have delivered a stunning space in which we are extremely proud to showcase our products and our developments, on an international stage.”
The design concept for IKON combines technology, engineering, material science and imagination, with extensive use of shapes, dynamic lines, sharp contrasts which encourages meeting, interaction, discussion and collaboration in order to embrace the future of building.
The building has many bespoke finishes including the joinery, which blends in with the overall building design. The shapes and the materials used, transform the joinery into a sculptural feature.
The open offices are intended to avoid the traditional segregation of working groups. Particular attention was paid to materials used throughout, while the white palette visually enhanced unexpected angles, affording a futuristic minimalist character to this building.
Every detail of the building has been carefully considered and challenges traditional architectural designs. The light tunnel, connecting the IKON building to Kingspan Headquarters, is devoid of right angles, instead using slopes and angles, lighting and AV to create a unique sensory experience, further encouraging abstract thinking.
Other features could have been taken straight from Star Trek: The Performance Wall, designed to explain Kingspan’s range of products, leverages augmented reality to educate visitors through the use of 3D holographic displays, while a raised observatory, entitled the Skywalk Platform, offers visitors a 180 degree view of the R&D floor.
“We wanted to create a space that reflected Kingspan’s commitment to quality, innovation and sustainability. We immersed ourselves in what technology could bring to the design and rather than the project being ‘design led’ we made it ‘technology led’. The end result is a space that is both highly functional, aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced,” states Ronan Holohan, Managing Director at Millimetre Design.
Incorporating state of the art technologies, recently featured at leading technology exhibitions such as ISE (Integrated Systems Europe), AVR 360 and VR World, the IKON centre brings to life the concept of the smart office that promotes collaboration and innovation throughout the organisation.
On the top floor of the IKON building sits Future Space, where a 12-meter future screen blurs the boundary between floor, wall and ceiling. Delivering maximum visual impact, the video screen utilizes the most modern on the VR market currently. It allows visitors to have a VR experience, placing the user inside Kingspan BIM models and, at the same time, displaying their experience on screen for others to see.
The use of virtual reality also provides Kingspan the capability to house worldwide conferences at Kingscourt while providing live interaction with any of its facilities around the globe.