Water Block House Fragments

January 14, 2010

Architects: Kengo Kuma and Associates

  • Taking inspiration from LEGO, the water blocks are rectangular units with grooves on their tops and niches on their undersides
  • The blocks only take on their full form when they are filled with water on the site of their installation
  • Left unfilled, the blocks are hollow plastic shells that can be vacuum packed flat for economic shipping
  • The water provides natural insulation to the interior
  • The system has the potential to be outfitted with an impregnated electrical system that remains protected from the water, allowing the blocks to be illuminated
  • Because of their modularity, the blocks have the potential to compose dwellings of infinite configurations


Allianz Arena in Munich

January 13, 2010

Architects: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel

  • When a match is on, the entire synthetic skin of the stadium lights up in red or blue, depending on which of the two home teams is playing
  • White light remains the option for games where no local teams are involved
  • The skin is divided up into diamond-shaped cushions
  • Behind there are different load-bearing systems- Cantilevered steel lattice girders from the primary structure of the roof, while the secondary support structure for the roof and vertical facades, structurally separate from the primary frame, is a rhomboid grid of steel girders, with field diagonals varying from 2×7 meters to 5×17 meters
  • The 65,000m2 skin is made up of 2,874 individual ETFE cushions, each one matched by only one other of identical geometry
  • The cushions are fixed in aluminum profiles that clamp the weather-strip edge to the secondary construction
  • The gutters between the cushions are sealed with flexible plastic profiles and welded at the junctions
  • Twelve air-pumping stations keep a constant internal pressure in the cushions, raising it as required depending on wind and snow loads.
  • The cushion “covers” are made of white ETFE
  • To avoid too much shading of the turf, the cushions on the southern part are fitted with transparent ETFE sheeting, which allows virtually all the UV portion of sunlight to permeate, thus giving good growing conditions for the grass
  • At night 1,058 facade cushions are lit up by fluorescent lights inside
  • Specially developed cover plates of acrylic glass act as a colour filter to create monochrome lighting or bi-colour stripes and diamond patterns

Architects: Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, London

  • Structural spans of up to 124 metres
  • The basic form of the construction is a series of intersecting geodesic domes
  • This geometry offers a number of advantages: it facilitates a lightweight yet rigid structure; and it is easily prefabricated with a plug-in jointing system that offers a high degree of precision and can be delivered to the construction site as a series of small components
  • The dome construction is divided into two layers
  • The outer skin is based on a hexagonal framework, the inner layer on a triangular and hexagonal grid
  • At the lines of intersection between the domes are complex, three-chord, triangular steel trusses
  • The covering consists of light ETFE cushions, which are inflated by compressors
  • The overall weight of the construction is less than that o the air it encloses

A Summer Space

January 13, 2010

Architects: Johl, Jozwiak, Ruppel, Berlin

  • On a circular plan, the bottles are stacked into a cone
  • To protect the interior from wind and rain and to ensure structural stability, a transparent scaffolding film was integrated and attached between bottle head and screw-top
  • Three thousand bottles were linked via the transparent film