Armoured Corset

WUHO Gallery, Hollywood, California

This study proposes the use of a nickel-magnesium thermobimetal as a smart material in the development of a responsive building skin. Thermobimetals are a lamination of two thin sheet metals with different expansion coefficients, which when heated results in the curling of the material. Commonly used in th form of small strips, this research considers the application of thermobimetals in architecture by multiplying the capacity of its character into a two-dimensional surface, a skin for a building. The intent is to develop a skin that as the outside (or inside) temperature rises, each individual metal tile will curve and the pores of the skin will physically open, allowing the building to ventilate automatically. To investigate the capacity of this material in this application, various tile shapes and forms were tested and modeled digitally in Catia and ParaCloud. The final selected tile was a simple, but digitally pliable, cross-shape. The dynamic shape of the overall structure allowed each tile to change parametrically, where no two tiles are identical. Depending on the length of the arms of the cross, the tiles will curve horizontally or vertically. The overall form will shrink when heated and will offset the fine-tuned balance of the structure, rocking it to maximize its shade.

Project Team: Doris Sung (principal investigator), Sayo Morinaga, Debbie Chen, Jeffrey Chinn, Krista Flascha, Dong Woo Kim, Daniel Patki, Kendra Kirsch, Daisuke Sato, Dayhana Solis, Kimberly Wiebe
Engineers: Buro Happold (Matthew Melnyk, Ron Elad, Yukie Hirashima)