Photochromic Canopy Structure
Smart materials like the photochromic ink of Or2 have previously only been used for UV-reactive sunglasses or packaging, but especially on a large scale their potential for environmental control and saving energy become important. For our installation the material with its carrier have been developed and produced in collaboration with our sponsors.
The geometry of Or2 aims to be a self-supporting single surface structure, it's shape has been inspired by the internal geometries of seasquirts. The shingle pattern forms the structural system while at the same time creating a rain-sheltered space beneath.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Or2 is a single surface roof structure which reacts to sunlight. The polygonal segments of the surface react to ultra-violet light, mapping the position and intensity of solar rays. When in the shade, the segments of Or2 are translucent white. However when hit by sunlight they become coloured, flooding the space below with different hues of light. During the day Or2 becomes a shading device passively controlling the space below it. At night Or2 transforms into an enormous chandelier, disseminating light which has been collected by integrated photovoltaic cells during the day into the surrounding areas.
Special software components have been developed in order to create the shapes and to generate the cutting schedules. The individual elements were then automatically numbered and water jet cut. Or structures are the first ones to employ photo-reactive technology at an architectural scale, exploring its applicability to the fields of construction and design. The beauty of Or2 is its constant interaction with the elements, at each moment of the day Or2’s appearance is unique.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The operation happens passively, without the need of humans to interact: The photochromic ink reacts depending on the amount of UV light which is hitting the material, and the colour of the surface changes accordingly.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Constructed for the London Architecture Festival, exhibited at the Italian Cultural Institute, Belgrave Square, London
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Material: Photochromic Polypropylene
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
3m x 4m x 4m
photochromic, canopy, UV light, polypropylene, single surface
TEAM MEMBERS (3) :
Francesco Brenta, Christoph Klemmt and Laura Micalizzi