Smart Surfaces


Invited Competition and Research

This research project is the result of a command by the committee responsible for the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg for 2013 where we were asked to look at Smart Materials in conjunction with Housing.  It is based on the premise that the greatest advances/developments in Materials have not been in the mass but on the surface.

Coatings have completely transformed our living environments: From the Formica furniture of the 60s over the first metallic glass coatings for sun shading through to the printed silicone chip which enabled the computer revolution.

When applied to proven and reliable building materials like wood, glass and steel coatings bestow hitherto unexpected strengths in a wide range of fields.  Strangely enough very often we only divine the presence of these highly performative ultra thin materials (At specific moments and when the light shines at a specific angle) when we notice a slight shimmer or reflection on their surface. The real discoveries and developments here are not clearly visible rather they can only be experienced when one looks very, very closely or observes their behaviour under different light and environmental conditions.
Furthermore this project shows just how much more efficiently materials can be when they are used not as massive elements but assembled as composites of many thin layers. The structural system consists of thin layers composed as containers.  Not only do they fulfill all of the necessary structural, technical and energetic functions but serve as building equipment and furnishing.

Spatial elements are reduced to the minimum; surfaces are sleek and perfectly crafted.  Every micron counts.
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