University of Ohio’s Central Chiller Plant is chill because it has to be — it supplies water and emergency power to the university’s medical district. But thanks to its facade covered in prismatic fins, it’s also chill in the non-literal sense of the word.
Designed by Ross Barney Architects, the plant was created to be both sustainable and durable. But what makes it really remarkable is its facade, which is cloaked in concrete panels with a high sheen satin finish. Between them, colourful little fins made from dichroic glass — which refracts light in colours because of embedded layers of metal and oxides — cast rainbows on the cooling equipment inside.
The reflections from these fins move as the sun changes, like glittering fish gills or water reacting to light. Inside, meanwhile, the chilling plant maintains 12,000 tonnes of water at a time, supporting other facilities in case of power outages. It’s a vital part of campus infrastructure. And fortunately it’s quite beautiful too. [DesignBoom]