Designed by Orproject, their Or2 project, which is a single surface roof structure that reacts to sunlight, won the 2012 Good Design Award. This award, which is known as the world’s most prestigious, recognized, and oldest Design Awards program, is organized annually by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. Special software components have been developed in order to create the shapes and to generate the cutting schedules so that the beauty of Or2 is its constant interaction with the elements, where its appearance is unique at each moment of the day. More images and architects’ description after the break.
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 colored, 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.
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 installation has been specifically designed and erected for the Italian Cultural Institute as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
Location: Belgrave Square, London, UK
Structural Engineers: Arup
Material: Photochromic polypropylene
Material Production: James Robinson, Simona AG
Photographs: Orproject and Vitor Gabriel