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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering / SmithGroupJJR

01:00 - 17 June, 2016
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering  / SmithGroupJJR, © Liam Fredrick
© Liam Fredrick
  • Architects

  • Location

    Urbana, IL, USA
  • Owner

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Architecture and Design

  • User

    Department of Electrical Computer Engineering Department
  • Area

    230000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© Liam Fredrick © Liam Fredrick © Liam Fredrick © Liam Fredrick +19

Complexity Via Simplicity: Urbana's Parking Structure Facade

00:00 - 3 September, 2014

Asked to design an interactive facade for an existing parking structure at the new Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, Urbana principle Rob Ley had a conundrum to deal with: "With Indianapolis’ really extreme weather patterns, we gave a lot of thought to: how can we make something that’s interactive but won’t be broken in a year?” he told the Architect's Newspaper. “Unfortunately, the history of kinetic facades teaches us that that they can become a maintenance nightmare."

His solution came from turning the question on its head - how could they design and fabricate a static facade that appears to change when the viewer moves? The resulting design appears highly complex, while in fact using aluminum fins bent at just three different angles. Find out more about the challenges of fabricating this facade, and inserting it into an existing structure, through the video above or at the Architect's Newspaper Fabrikator blog.