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Architectural Skin as a Design Bridge

Most building “skins” today are quite static. Instead of being a bridge that allows the exterior and interior to communicate, many building skins today serve to separate the interior from the exterior with only, if any, intermittent window openings. What if, instead, architects designed building skins to synchronize occupant environments with real-time occupant needs?

Jean Nouvel’s Institute of the Arab World in Paris (above) is an excellent example of how exterior walls can function as a membrane that breathes in and out. This shows one example of how a wall can be used like a nervous system to bridge between two otherwise separate environments. 

The skin can serve both as a shield to block out the negatives and as a bridge to connect the positives. Such an architectural building skin might be programmed as a rule-based system where certain occupant goals would be made into system objectives. The skin would maintain its own dynamic behavior as it works in real-time to meet occupant needs.

Image Credit: © Beyondthedarkroom | Dreamstime

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