ELI Beamlines International Laser Research Centre, Prague

KEY FACTS

ELI Beamlines International Laser Research Centre, Prague

Part of the Czech Institute of Physics, the ELI Beamlines International Laser Research Centre in Dolní Břežany, near Prague, is the world’s most powerful laser centre.

PBA was responsible for the design, coordination and management of the structural, M&E, transport, and utilities parts of the project, which also includes additional administrative buildings, a restaurant, library and lecture theatre. Work from our Prague team contributed to a 2014 Czech Architect Week ‘Architectural Project of the Year’ award win for the first laser institute of its kind in Europe.

Due to the high calibration and sensitivity of the extremely powerful laser to be operated within the building, many challenges were encountered in the design of the structure and M&E systems. The structure carrying the laser equipment had to be completely independent from the rest of the building and extremely stiff to ensure no vibrations are transferred to the laser equipment. The laser hall was essentially designed as a two-storey monolithic concrete box with a natural frequency of ~20Hz.

The lasers installed within the complex will be used for research into material sciences and engineering, medicine, biology, chemistry, pharmacy and astrophysics, and this new generation of laser technology will make important contributions to cancer diagnosis and therapy.

The centre was officially opened in October 2015 and has been acclaimed as one of the European Union's most significant research projects.