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green design, eco design, sustainable design, HygroSkin-Metereosensitive Pavilion, Achim Menges Architects, Oliver David Krieg, Steffen Reichert, environmentally responsive design, humidity-repsonsive design

The pavilion was constructed as a box with varying curved surfaces made from thin modular plywood sheets. Combining high tech properties with mundane materials such as plywood, the designers embedded clusters of the blooming apertures that – through metereosensitive receptors – open and close with the changing humidity. Each of the apertures sense humidity changes from 30 to 90 percent and adjust themselves accordingly. Because the apertures move due to hygroscopicity, or their ability to take in and release moisture from the atmosphere, the opening and closing occurs without consuming any energy.

When the atmosphere reaches 30 percent humidity, or a classic dry and sunny day, the cone shaped apertures remain closed, keeping the interior cool while permitting light to permeate the thin plywood. As humidity increases, the cone’s petals open, becoming fully open at 75 percent humidity. During a rainy, overcast day. the apertures are fully open, allowing a lot of light to illuminate the interior.

The incredible humidity-responsive wooden material can be designed to operate in different shapes, and the design team plans to further explore the options of climate responsive materials in architecture.

+ Steffen Reichert

+ Achim Menges Architects

+ Oliver David Krieg

Via Arch Daily