Kinetic façades in Architecture

1st may 2021

Introduction For the greater part of the historical backdrop of design, intriguing veneers were accomplished through materiality or ornamentation. From the intricately painted friezes of the Parthenon to the glass outsides of present-day high rises, architecture was static, just 'changing' as the earth would change and influence the material of the façade in varying manners, be it downpour, light, rust, and so on. As innovation has advanced and exteriors have changed – truly – the job of the condition hasn't lessened. Or maybe, front line innovation has permitted fashioners to create a design that reacts to natural upgrades in more intriguing manners than any time with regards to recent memory. Regularly, these structures appear as active veneers: compositional exteriors that change progressively, changing structures from static stone monuments to ever-moving surfaces. Need of the Subject In order to reduce the consumption of energy throughout the year, an occupant or computer controlled transformable façade system, like the one proposed, can be utilized. The proposed design seeks to emulate the adaptive nature of plants and animals when it comes to being light sensitive or light responsive. This shading system, when applied to buildings, will attempt to provide a solution which can help buildings become more transformable, and ultimately, more efficient. Despite of many transformable proposals, this four-panel shading system is to transform itself responsively and is able to function not only in fully open configuration but also in various stages of deployment. The proposed design not only provides occupants with natural lighting conditions or protection from solar glare, it optimizes solar heat gain through the heating season or mitigates it throughout the cooling season, satisfying both the energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Significance of study At times, dynamic façade structures lean significantly more into the style, organizing magnificence over the guideline of light, temperature, or downpour. For instance, UNStudio's Galleria Centercity favors PC created activities and brightening innovation over the mechanical exteriors of other active tasks. While the façade itself never shows signs of change, delicate rushes of hued light enlightening the surface causes the whole structure to have all the earmarks of being moving. While dynamic exteriors are a late marvel, the structures they take as of now vary significantly. Running from triangular modules to mammoth sun-shades to aluminum shingles to anticipated liveliness, each structure fills an exceptional need and accordingly takes a novel shape. As designers are progressively acknowledging, motor veneers can be an incredible asset to move
toward the well-established issues of engineering – magnificence, supportability, comfort – in an intense, new, and innovatively determined way. Case studies 1.RESONANT CHAMBER | RVTR ARCHITECTS Resonant Chamber, introduced by RVTR Architects in 2011 is a transformable origami-inspired acoustic ceiling panel, using a foldable plate and hinge system to deploy and retract. The structure is programmed to be responsive to sound, with the intent to produce a system that can create optimized sound conditions within the confinements of any space. This can be especially applicable in multi-functional performance spaces where sound conditions can vary from event to event. The project is composed of triangulated elements that fold in or out in order to expose a different ratio of reflective, absorptive or electro-acoustical panels or cells. When the installation is in a fully deployed configuration, all of the panels are exposed absorbing sound in the space (Expanding Sphere, by Hoberman Associates. These complex systems of pantographic systems allow for immense amounts of expansion and contraction .A New Foldable Kinetic Architectural System: Through an Evaluative Approach of Built Examples. Resonant Chamber, by RVTR Architects. These Acoustical Panels Expand and Contract Based on the Noise Conditions of the Adjacent Space . The physical space is therefore transformed in order to produce efficient quality of sound for the activity at hand. It responds to social activity through advanced technology and geometric construction, and has the potential to be played like an instrument. Mechanism of Movement The Resonant Chamber structure, composed of the three panel types mentioned above which is arranged into different triangulated cells . An electronics panel controls the amplification of the DML embedded speakers, linear actuation and sensing inputs of the environment. One of these panels may control up to three flat folding cells within the composite assembly. Each of the triangulated electro-acoustical cells responds to the sound in the environment through the use of the linear actuators mounted on top. These actuators respond to pulse-width modulation signals sensed by the speakers, which then control the proportion of the absorptive or reflective cells that are exposed by designating a fold angle. Resonant Chamber, by RVTR Architects. Electro- acoustical, Reflective and Absorptive Cells Make Up the Large Origami Inspired Installation Panels, Picture Taken from. The angles created by the origami elements have allowed for flexibility within the form. The triangulated elements have the ability to fit together in a number of ways., the geometry of the system is developed through connecting symmetrical lines through the triangles, from midpoint to midpoint. This allows for the acoustical panels (right angle triangles) to fold inwards based on sound requirements thus, allowing the reflective panels (equilateral triangles) to fold together.The flexibility of the system allows it to be utilized in more than one way and applicable in many different environments in order to increase the
efficiency of the space. The basic elements and ideas of the Resonant Chamber can be applied to façade systems or shelters by responding to a multitude of environmental issues and constraints. 2.MEDINA HARAM PIAZZA SHADING PROJECT | SL-RASCH GMBH The Medina Haram Piazza Shading Project was completed in 2011 by SL-Rasch GmbH; a German engineering company with a specialization in structures. The massive 250 retractable umbrellas provide shade from the harsh Saudi Arabian sun, for the many pilgrims that visit the Mosque piazza. The umbrellas provide average of a 14 degree reduction in temperature during the day. Not only do the umbrellas offer functionality to the harsh climate, they are aesthetically pleasing, finely painted with gold detailing and intricate ornamentation. Whether they are fully deployed or in a fully closed position, the umbrellas add beauty to the vast mosque space. Each umbrella spans an area of 625m2 and is 49 feet tall. The membrane material is made of decorated polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE developed specifically for the project. Weather resistance and maintain functionality in order to make sure it withstands a long life expectancy. When closed, the umbrellas are encased in a fiberglass column. The structural elements are made of a lightweight composite sandwich structure of glass fibre epoxy resin laminate. These materials were chosen in order to withstand the climatic conditions and provide high torsional stiffness. The umbrellas contain two rings, supporting pantographic elements. The lower most or ‘primary ring’ (moves up or down in order to promote the folding or unfolding of the umbrella.. Medina Haram Shading Project, by SL-Rasch GmbH. The Structural Positioning of the Fully Deployed Umbrellas, Picture Take from, (Premier Composite Technologies, n.d.) Resonant Chamber, by RVTR Architects. The origami elements are developed from the geometries of trianglesResonant Chamber, by RVTR Architects. The angles created by the origami elements result in the ability for the panels to deploy and fully close. There are 8 primary arms attached to the primary ring. Each arm supports two additional arms with the ability to fold out, in order to hold the membrane tight in its deployed, square position .The main structural column has been decorated and contains the built in lamps used to light the piazza at night. Incorporating the structural elements with the architectural components has benefited the aesthetics of the project. Mechanism of movement An electronic motor promotes the deployment and closing of each individual umbrella structure and their respective pantographic elements. In order to ensure that they do not contact one another through deployment, the umbrellas have been set to deploy at different times. Although the sun is seen to have a negative impact on the space, rather than strictly protecting from unwanted sun, the umbrellas have the ability to harvest the harsh solar exposure in order to utilize it for the electrical energy consumption or built in lighting. Improvements
The case studies present strengths and weaknesses associated with the application of responsive kinetic architecture which can be used to develop more effective foldable systems. In terms of movement, there is a clear difference between origami architecture and pantographic architecture. Origami architecture, though it provides a wide range of shapes and patterns of movement, is extremely irregular and difficult to apply. Pantographic structures, being pivots rather than whole surface edges, have a higher degree of freedom, pantographs can be arranged to support flat surfaces or entire structures with much more ease. In terms of technology, the computer systems which control the case studies are extremely effective. The technologies applied in the Resonant Chamber, Shading Project and Research Center successfully respond to interior and exterior conditions and significantly improve energy efficiency. Incorporating technology into design may prove to have maintenance related issues and in some cases, failure. Both examples are highly dependent upon technology, but have been produced in a way in which problems are fairly easy to troubleshoot. Technology can be a major operational cost in the building, and though useful, its control and precision is a critical factor in the success of the system. There is much to be learned from the case studies in order to create an improved model for a foldable responsive facade. Resonant Chamber’s research in the idea of orientation and presenting different materials to an environment in order to improve its acoustics was highly successful. This idea that orientation and materiality can improve an environment is something that will be carried over into the research for the following design proposal. However, it will be formally applied to a different system, as the size and shape changes induced by origami-like folds result in a shape too irregular to tessellate across a building facade. With more precedents for success, pantographic architecture will be the main stream of research going forward. With both vertical and horizontal applications, umbrella structures like those seen is Rasch’s and Cannon’s provide responsive solutions to changing exterior environments. Both have limited degrees of freedom based on their arrangement and geometry. In order to bring a focus on orientation to an umbrella like pantographic system, the arrangement of bars needs to be one which allows for a vast array of in-between states. By decreasing the number of bars, and adjusting the stopping mechanisms which limit the movement of the pantographs, a wider range of movement and positions can be achieved. The proposed system is a dynamic kinetic system applied as a moveable façade. Conclusion-The future of Architecture As technology advances, architecture has the ability to become more and more complex and efficient by responding to human activities and occupant needs. Building requirements are also ever changing, requiring the systems that cater to the activities to respond almost instantaneously. Responsive, foldable architecture when applied in combination with technology, has the ability to achieve this efficiency while still creating aesthetically interesting buildings. There are a number of architectural projects existing today that set the precedent for designs which aspire to respond to their space requirements and occupant needs. The Resonant Chamber, CJ Research
Centre and Medina Shading Project use foldable systems in a variety of ways in order to respond to the human environments in which they exist and are extremely successful. However, the proposed design is to improve and adapt existing precedents, the design uses structural pantographic elements in order to increase efficiency and flexibility of a building facade. In spite of the precedent designs, the proposed design not only provides occupants with natural lighting conditions or protection from solar glare, it optimizes solar heat gain through the heating season or mitigates it throughout the cooling season, satisfying both the energy efficiency and occupant comfort. The proposed system is a dynamic kinetic system applied as a moveable façade. The intent is that such a system can be programmed to be responsive to changes in light conditions, and that panels can be re-oriented to optimize solar heat gain in the heating months, and control it in cooling months. The system features four shading panels which fold out like wings, moved by a mechanism very similar to an umbrella, but with several important improvements. The system will present a multitude of shading options, based on the needs of the occupants and space heating and cooling requirements.