Bloom is a metallic, self-supporting architectural research installation currently on display at the Materials and Application gallery in Los Angeles. The installation's name refers to the Victorian-era undergarment, and it is constructed from thermobimetal (a sheet metal that curls when heated) panels that fit together with an interlocking aluminum frame. The Victorian reference illustrates how DO|SU Studio Architecture stitched together an experiment in materials, structure and computational form to create an interesting art piece that also tracks the sun.
Composed of 414 hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped stacked panels, Bloom features no fewer than 14,000 laser cut pieces on its surface. It is a lightweight and flexible structure that relies on both its geometrical configuration and materials for stability. Because the metal responds to the sun’s heat, it becomes a sun tracker that can also be used to keep tabs on time and temperature.
As a design that responds to its environment, Bloom is expected to perform particularly well on the 20th of March, 2012 – the start of the Spring Equinox. Some of the metal panels are made stiffer by increasing the number of riveted connections while others are thicker, which provides additional interior structural support. And finally, the real beauty of this project lies in its adaptability: even as one face of a panel is exposed to the sun, the other side can be shaded, creating infinite opportunities for future designers.
Via Arch Daily