DO|SU Studio Architecture shared with us their architectural research installation, titled ‘Bloom,’ displayed at the Materials and Application Gallery in Los Angeles. The project acts as a sun tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, with a shape alluding to a woman’s Victorian-era under garment, ‘Bloom’ to stitch together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form and pattern making into an environmentally responsive form. The project is especially designed for peak performance on spring equinox, March 20, 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The structure is made primarily out of a smart thermobimetal, a sheet metal that curls when heated, the form’s responsive surface shades and ventilates specific areas of the shell as the sun heats up its surface. It also has the aid of complex digital softwares, as the surface is made up of approximately 14,000 lasercut pieces.
Composed of 414 hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped stacked panels, the self-supporting structure challenges the capability of the materials to perform as a shell. The panels combine a double-ruled surface of bimetal tiles with an interlocking, folded aluminum frame system. Like the undulation of the surface, the frame, by nature of its folds, is designed to appear on the inner or outer surface at the same cadence of the peaks and valleys.
The final monocoque form, lightweight and flexible, is dependent on the overall geometry and combination of materials to provide comprehensive stability. In some areas of “Bloom”, the hypar panels are made stiffer by increasing the number of riveted connections, while, in other areas, the panels are deeper to increase structural capability. The severely twisted panel shapes aid in the performance of the surface and challenge the digital and fabrication capabilities of parametric design. Within a single panel, portions of the surface directly face the sun, while the other side is in the shade and requires no reaction or curling. The result is dramatic variation in tile shapes and function within each panel.
Further material and structural research is being conducted by Wahlroos-Ritter in slumped glass, where the focus of innovation is in the formwork and the shaping process. Here, like in “Bloom”, the size of the overall structure will be completely relevant to the structural capability of each hypar panel. Simultaneously, Sung is further developing bris-soleil systems and curtain-wall panels that combine responsive thermobimetal with glass into a passive shading systems.
Architects: DO|SU Studio Architecture
Location: Materials&Application Gallery, 1619 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, California, United States
Principal Investigator: Doris Kim Sung
Collaborators: Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter (glass consultant), Matthew Melny (structural engineer)
Design Team: Dylan Wood (Lead), Kristi Butterworth, Ali Chen, Renata Ganis, Derek Greene, Julia Michalski, Sayo Morinaga, Evan Shieh
Completion Date: November 19, 2011