The skylines of the world´s most important cities (except for Dubai I guess) are shaped by the typical office tower. The reason is simple: it provides a flexible floor plan, with an economical structural system. “Bang for the buck” if you want to call it. To address lighting and cooling issues that these tower traditionally have, electric lighting and air conditioning were the solution.
But in times when energy is a big issue, we can no longer design buildings that depend on high consumption to provide a comfortable working environment, specially in tropical weathers. And this is what BIG had as a design principle for the Shenzhen International Energy Mansion competition they just won, proposing a tower based on an efficient and well-proven floor plan, enclosed in a skin specifically modified and optimized for the local climate.
We propose to enhance the sustainable performance of the building drastically by only focusing on its envelope, the façade.
We propose to make the Shenzhen Energy Mansion the first specimen of a new species of office buildings that exploit the buildings interface with the external elements – sun, daylight, air humidity, wind – as a source to create a maximum comfort and quality inside.
The Shenzhen Energy Mansion will appear as a subtle mutation of the classic skyscraper – a natural evolution rather than a desperate revolution.
More details on how this facade works, along with more information after the break:
1.The traditional curtain wall glass façade has a low insulation level and leaves the offices overheated by the direct sunlight. This results in excessive energy consumption for air conditioning as well as the need for heavy glass coating that makes the view seem permanently dull and grey.
2.By folding the façade in an origami like structure we achieve a structure with closed and open parts. The closed parts are providing a high-insulation façade, while blocking the direct sunlight. On the outside the closed parts are fitted with solar thermal heat panels that are powering the air conditioning and providing dehumidification for the working spaces.
3.The folded wall provides a free view through clear glass in one direction, and creates condition of plenty of diffused daylight by reflecting the direct sun between the interior panels.
4.Even when the sun comes directly from east or west, the main part of the solar rays are reflected off the glass due to the flat angle on the window. The reflected rays increase the efficiency of the solar thermal energy panels. The combination of minimal passive solar heating as well as active solar panels will reduce the building energy consumption with more than 60%.
Architect: BIG Partner in charge: Bjarke Ingels Project Leader: Andreas Klok Pedersen Team: Cat Huang, Alex Cozma, Fan Zhang, Kuba Snopek, Flavien Menu, Stanley Lung Collaborators: ARUP, Transsolar Invited Competition, 1st prize. Size: 96,000sqm Client: Shenzhen Energy Company