EXO Structural Tower

January 4, 2014

Thermobimetal is a lamination of two alloys of metals with different coefficients of expansion. When heated, the "smart" material curls. This natural behavior is beneficial during construction because it enables a person to assemble the project with minimal effort and danger. With no mechanical force required, a single person can assemble the surface with a single hand. Each individual piece is heated in a conventional oven to about 350? Farenheit, the point with optimal geometric curl, then simply held into position until it cools. As the piece cools and returns to its flattened state, it is prematurely locked into place, forming a pre-tensioned bow-beam (imagine an archer's bow). When distributed in a field of bows on a cylindrical type of surface, the result is an extremely strong and lightweight shell, much like the exo-skeleton of a lobster or crustacean. The surface is held in tension with no connection hardware.

This proof-of-concept prototype is the bottom tier of a five-tiered tower. The four upper tiers is planned for completion by 2015.

Designer: Doris Sung, DOSU Studio Architecture (Team: Dylan Wood, Hannah Woo, Evan Shieh, Jessica Chang, Dennis Chow, Carter Shaw)
Engineers: ARUP Engineering (Team: Roel Schierbeek, Gregory Nielsen, Laura Mino)
Fabricators: Neal Feay Company (Alex Rasmussen)