No. Seriously. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Take a few in fact.
Alright. Now that you’ve done that (and I’m trusting that you did), did you notice anything? Did the building breath with you? No! Well, some day it might.
New thermo bi-metals are being developed that may change the way that we think about a buildings skin. The Bloom Installation in Los Angeles by Doris Kim Sung uses laminated steel that responds to the ambient temperature and sun. The laminated “tiles” are composed of various layers of metal each of which expands at a different rate. This expansion causes curling of the metal and the facade to open up. Holes form in the skin as the temperature increases and allows heat to escape through the perforations. As the building then cools, the holes close up.
An emphasis of this project is that it is entirely passive. No energy is used as the facade open and closes. The responsive system works automatically in response
to the climate. The temperate climate of LA poses a good place for this particular application, but there is also a possibility that similar systems incorporating glazing, and further layering systems could further adapt this system to other climates.
This is just another step towards the dynamic architecture of the future.