Louisiana Pavilion wins International Innovation Award | 3XN architects

• February 28, 2010

Louisiana Pavilion by 3XN architects was designed to demonstrate cutting edge possibilities with sustainable and intelligent materials. The pavilion has now been honoured with the JEC Innovation Award 2010 for its design combining sustainability and intelligent materials. The Pavilion is on exhibit at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art until April 1 2010.

The Pavilion has given us the opportunity to showcase the possibilities which exist in building with sustainable and intelligent materials. Our objective has been to show that Green Architecture can be dynamic and active. We often think that we need to minimize use of resources at all costs. Instead of focusing on consuming the least amount of energy, we need to focus on producing and using energy and materials in a more intelligent way than is the case today

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Principal Architect of 3XN

Louisiana Pavilion 3XN plusMOOD 2 595x419 Louisiana Pavilion wins International Innovation Award | 3XN architects

Louisiana Pavilion, image courtesy of 3XN architects

+ Project description courtesy of 3XN

As part of the ‘Green Architecture for the Future’ architectural exhibition, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art invited 3XN to design a pavilion demonstrating cutting edge possibilities with sustainable and intelligent materials.

The Pavilion has given us the opportunity to showcase the possibilities which exist in building with sustainable and intelligent materials. Our objective has been to show that Green Architecture can be dynamic and active. We often think that we need to minimize use of resources at all costs. Instead of focusing on consuming the least amount of energy, we need to focus on producing and using energy and materials in a more intelligent way than is the case today

Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Principal Architect of 3XN

The vision of the project has been to build with biodegradable and energy-generating materials, creating an energy-self-sufficient architecture that also can be part of, and be decomposed in, the biological cycle after use.

New Combinations

Sustainable solutions are often associated with architectural compromises. For this reason it has been important to show that sustainable materials have legitimate future potential in the building industry – practically as well as aesthetically. Building with intelligent and biological materials with a refined finish, in a complex mode of expression, pushes the limit in people’s minds of what is obtainable with sustainable materials today.

Sustainable Materials

Well-known synthetic products have been substituted with biological and reusable materials. For the outer shell of the sculpture, glass fiber composites have been substituted with a bio composite from flax fibers cast in biological resin. Cork sheets replace polystyrene foam for the inner core.

Intelligent Materials

For the sculpture, the newest built-in technologies have been applied creating a dynamic and green architecture.

On the top face of the pavilion, 1mm flexible solar cells are placed. The cells are cast in thin film making them applicable to double curved surfaces. Piezoelectric materials that generate an electric current from the weight of the visitors are laid in the floor. Combined, this makes the sculpture self-sufficient with energy to power the integrated LED lights.

Why not build dynamic buildings that harvest energy from the surroundings?

The pavilion has a coating of nanoparticles that makes the surfaces self-cleaning. Due to a hydrophilic nanostructure, rain water is dispersed beneath the dirt on the surface, leaving it cleaner. A second coating adds air cleaning properties to the pavilion. A chemical process called photocatalysis decomposes up to 70 percent of pollutants from industrial smog. Documentation shows that the air quality is improved within an 8-feet radius of air cleaning surfaces.

The pavilion retains heat by using phase changing materials. Heated by the sun, the material retains the energy, releasing it again when the temperature drops.

At exactly 23 degrees Celsius, the material changes from a solid to a liquid form. When the temperature rises, the material absorbs energy and is liquefied. When the temperature drops, it solidifies and releases energy. In other words, the surface of the pavilion remains cooler when the temperature of the surroundings is rising, and vice versa. It is estimated that phase changing materials can cut costs with 10 to 15 percent on heating and cooling of buildings.

Digital Design and Production

The design of the pavilion is optimized according to function and material consumption. The mode of expression and material consumption is digitally designed to meet the exact needs, i.e. 14 layers of fiber and 84mm of cork are specifically designed to meet the dynamic forces arising from wind load and the load from people walking on the surface. Adapting the new sustainable materials to the digital modes of production has been a huge challenge in itself. The learning process of substituting synthetic materials for biological counterparts has spanned the entire project phase, revealing many obstacles and given rise to new innovations on the way.

Process

The Louisiana Pavilion is a joint venture of 20 companies. Due to a tight 4-month schedule and a high level of ambition, it was essential that all parties involved took ownership of the project; that concept, design, innovation and production were all in play at the same time during the development phase – a process where several project phases melted into one. This called for close, integrated cooperation between everyone involved.

Louisiana Pavilion 3XN plusMOOD 1 595x419 Louisiana Pavilion wins International Innovation Award | 3XN architects

Louisiana Pavilion, image courtesy of 3XN architects

+ Press Release courtesy of 3XN

Louisiana Pavilion wins International Innovation Award

The green Pavilion in the Sculpture Park of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art has been a catalyst for play and energy during the past few months. The pavilion has now been honoured with the JEC Innovation Award 2010 for its design combining sustainability and intelligent materials

The JEC Innovation Award is the largest international award for the composite design field that encompasses innovative companies in the car and air transport industries. The award places the green pavilion alongside research and development projects from visionary industry giants such as Airbus, Boeing, Daimler Chrysler and Rolls-Royce.

It is amazing that we, as a small Danish studio can play in the same league. The project started as an experiment to test the limits of what was possible to construct out of biological materials. It is because we believe that the future is about new materials that require less energy to develop than aluminum or concrete. Now we hope that this knowledge generated through the project can be used in other applications – and perhaps also other industries

explains Kim Nielsen, Principal of 3XN, whose R&D department GXN has developed the project.

The Pavilion is constructed from biodegradable biological materials such as cork, flax fibres, corn and soy beans. Together they form a bio-composite developed especially for the project. The entire process has been a remarkable learning experience in replacing traditional materials with the biological.

At StageOne we are highly experienced at working with complex shapes and unusual materials. In this instance we worked with biologically derived materials in a structural application, which was new for us. The project was made even more challenging by a demanding deadline and a tight budget

explains Edwin Stokes, FRP Development Director at StageOne Freeform Composites, who produced the Pavilion.

A number of high technology elements are integrated into the Pavilion, which results in the sculpture having an interaction with its environment. Phase changing materials regulate the temperature, so the pavilion is warm to sit on when it is cold and feels cool on a warm summer day. The exterior skin is self-cleaning and also has a photocatalytic effect of cleaning the surrounding air. The most important interaction is the immediate one with users, as the pavilion can be touched and walked on unlike most of the other sculptures in the garden at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

It’s fascinating to think that people’s activity can generate energy simply by integrating specific materials, just as we can see here where ‘children at play’ create the energy required to run the integrated LED lights, the Pavilion has given us the opportunity to demonstrate, how sustainable and intelligent materials can be used in buildings.

explains Development Director Bente Andersen from COWI.

The Pavilion was created for the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art’s primary exhibition leading up to the UN Climate Conference in December, ’Green Architecture for the Future’. In just four months, the idea, design and materials came together. This intense process required an integrated co-operation between the projects three main partners – 3XN, COWI and StageOne along with more than 20 other innovative companies.

The JEC Innovation Award will be handed out at a ceremony in conjunction with the JEC Composites Show in Paris April 13 2010. The Pavilion is on exhibit at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art until April 1 2010.

+ Project credits / data

Project: Louisiana Pavilion
Location: Louisiana, Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
Budget: DKK 2 mio. / € 0,3 mio.
Completed: 2009
Photo: Adam Mørk

Partners

3XN – architects and project management
COWI – engineering and light design
Stage One Freeform Composites – production and installation

Materials

BASF, the chemical company – phase changing materials
Ashland Inc. – producer of bioresin
Amorim Cork Composites – producer of cork
Libeco-Lagae – producer of natural fibers
Flex Cell – producer of flexible photovoltaic
Noliac Motion – producer of piezoelectric materials
Nano-X GmbH – self-cleaning surface coatings
Phillips – producer of LED light
3M – structural tape
Micronal PCM©, climate control – phase changing materials
Optima Projects Limited – composite consultant
NetComposites Ltd. – network within composites
Scenetek – installation of electrical components
Danish Technological Institute – self-cleaning counseling
Risø National Laboratory DTU – Composite testing

Facts

The Pavilion is three meters high, eight meters long and five meters wide. It is constructed like a surfboard, in which traditional fibre glass composites are substituted with a bio composite developed for this specific project. The composite is made from cork sheets and woven flax fibres cast in a bio resin partly made from corn flour and soya beans.

+ ABOUT THE JEC INNOVATION AWARD 2010

The Louisiana Pavilion is the winner of the category ’Environment & Recycling’. The other finalists were:

  • ECO-TITAN™ composite concrete pole technology, presented by CMT Worldwide, LLC (USA) with its partner OCV Reinforcements (USA)
  • Single-process recycling of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics, presented by MBM Maschinenbau Mühldorf GmbH (Germany) with its partner OCV Reinforcements (Germany)

The other categories are: ‘Bio-based Materials’, ‘Aeronautics’, ‘Building & Construction’, ‘Sports and Leisure’, ‘Transportation’, ‘Wind Energy’, ‘Raw Materials’, ‘Process og Automation’.

In 2009 3XNs new head office for Danish Law Firm Horten was awarded the JEC Innovation Award for its innovative façade elements.

Created in 1998, the goals of the JEC Innovation Programme are to:

  • Identify, promote, and reward the most innovative composite solutions worldwide
  • Encourage companies that are involved in composite innovation along with their partners, and also enhance their public exposure
  • Contribute to the advancement of the composite industry

5 Selection Criterias
In the Innovation Programme, a composite innovation is defined as a new composite product or process – or a new application in the composite sector – that creates value and meets the following criteria:

  • Technical excellence
  • Chain of partners
  • Market openings
  • Benefits for end-users
  • Originality

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Category: Installation

Comments (1)

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  1. Arild says:

    Is this serious? A green metal ribbon to showcase the “possibilities of sustainable building”?

    “We often think that we need to minimize use of resources at all costs. Instead of focusing on consuming the least amount of energy, we need to focus on producing and using energy and materials in a more intelligent way than is the case today”

    The worst subbish i’ve heard in a long time. Stop making uselessness, Kim. And that goes out to the rest of the danish architecture scene too!