city of sounds_ blog - LAb[au]

city of sound _ blog
post title: Façades: expressive, responsive, interactive
Date: 22.01.2008
Publisher: Dan Hill featured project: Touch, interactive urban installation

"A series of notes on the contemporary façade, from expressive and performative to responsive and interactive.

(This is by no means an attempt at an exhaustive survey; there are many more advanced façades out there - do feel free to note your favourites below. And for further examples, see the excellent Interactive Architecture dot org. Nor is this about contemporary façades in general (currently foremost for me, the glowing "lenses" of Steven Holl Architects' extraordinarily beautiful, quietly bravura Block Building for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City (amateur video here and here) and the soap-bubble structure meets ETFE skin of Arup/PTW's National Aquatic Centre in Beijing). Instead, this is simply a curated set of façades, juxtaposing a few different approaches to expression or interaction.


In Brussels, the Dexia Tower has been hosting nightly shows by the installation artists LAb[au] for months now, with a recent showing enthusiastically reviewed by CR blog. There have been several shows on, including once called Touch, which enabled viewers to control the light display from a touch-screen over the road. A later installation responded to, and conveyed, weather information. As such it's akin to some of the ideas in the Personal Well-Tempered Environment. "The project displays tomorrow's temperature, cloudiness, precipitations, and wind, by using colors and geometrical patterns to visualise these data.


A color-code corresponds to tomorrow's temperature compared to the monthly average, linked to a scale of color-temperatures ranging from violet (-6° or colder), blue (-4°), cyan (-2°), green (monthly average), yellow (+2°), orange (+4°) to red (+6° or warmer)"

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