Date of Project: Nov 2017
After centuries of overcoming the challenges of nature to announce the will power of human mind, architects in 20th century refound the Tao philosophy by Laozi, a Chinese prophet, who raised that “ Heaven follows Tao, Tao follows nature”. In the light of this philosophy, architecture is no longer a stationary object that withstands all variations in nature, but remains its flexibility and adaptability and follows various kinds of nature power. In this case, the appearance of architecture is tightly connected to a moment and a certain environment.
With the newly accepted perception in 2oth century that everything could be architecture and deserve being attentively designed, architecture is no longer the priviledge of human being.
This project aims to build a connection between sunlight, an essential aspect of nature, and the form of architecture. Natural force, as the replacement of human will, determines how architecture looks. In this design, architecture becomes the medium that interprets the changes in nature, and gains its flexibility and become ‘future-proof’.
The roof functions as the trapper, amplifier and adapter for the interior thermal and illumination environment. By expanding and gaining extra length in higher temperature, the elongated metal components on the roof create the gap between two adjacent ones to illuminate the interior space. The absolute value of temperature decides the overall intensity of illumination, while the distribution of heat on the roof creates various regional thermal and illumination environments, which ultimately exert an impact on the growth of the plants. The plants in turn influence the micro-climate, and becomes one end of the interaction loop. Eventually, we not only got diverse roof forms, but also diverse plants community and diverse micro climates and the combo of all these elements.
The mechanism for the roof is a knitted structure consisting of two perpendicular systems made with materials with vastly different thermal properties. Parrallel to the curve is a system (latitude) made with metal that showcases evident thermal expansion in high temperature, while the perpendicular system (longitude) is made with thermal-stable materials that provide support to the former system.
While most part of the latitude is supported by longitude, some parts are underneath it and are hung freely, which enables the accumulation of expansion and thus create a noticable reversed dome. The higher the temperature, the higher the dome, the wider the gap between two adjacent metal strip, the more illumination indoor. This mechanism collectively simulates diverse micro climates varying from high temperature x strong illumination to low temperature x low illumination with control over the overall pattern of the knitted roof.
Specifically, the posts for the longitude are connected to two sliding rails. when the temperature rises, the lower rail expands and fall, forcing the post to move towards the mid-point of each segment. The spring supporting the lower rail prevents it from falling too much, while the springs on the posst also contribute to the same purpose.