Alan Lu shared with us his academic project and concept just recently completed at MIT in Cambridge, MA.
+ Project description by Alan Lu
This project by Alan Lu explores the notion of programmatic extremism in a design incubator facility where a central defined figure that contains a vertically integrated manufacturing/workloft arrangement occupies the void and recoups the emptiness left by the existing ice storage facility. Such a figure inverts the typical relationship of a theatre by converting the space usually dedicated to an event space into a piranesian conflation of design/production/manufacturing where in effect, these work processes become the spectacle themselves and the theatre is one of production.
Other programmatic functions are thus arranged around this figure which begins push through to the existing concrete envelope when necessary. As the existing envelope is punctured to meet programmatic needs, a second envelope acts as a performative skin that strives to absorb heat from solar radiation. Such a skin would be composed of a thick black membrane that envelopes the existing ice tower. The space between the membrane and the concrete shell is occupied by small expandable packages of water collected from rain and snow to transfer heat effectively from skin to concrete to take full advantage of the inherent thermal mass in the existing building.
The expandable tubes manage water collection through the seasons where absorption and storage are variable – thereby causing the outer membrane itself to swell and contract periodically as a reflection of the buildings energy strategy. The visual nature of this process links the building back to the existing urban context as a reveal of energy management and value assessments in an attempt to convey a democratization of energy and its collection process to the general public.
+ Designer: Alan Lu | http://www.alanslu.com/