Sol Pix Solar Facade and Media Wall will Light Up Your Life
We're about mid-way through the National Design Triennial exhibition at NY's Cooper-Hewitt, and we had to do a bit of coverage owing to the intractable pull of Beijing. If that last tidbit seems like a non sequitur, I'll point you to an article from two year's back about the Olympic city's infamous Aquatics Center.
Turns out the distinctive cube wasn't the only innovative construction occurring at the time, as a creation of N.Y. architect Simone Giostra graces the expansive facade of a building in proximity to The Cube. Giostra's Sol Pix/Green Pix Zero-Energy Media Wall arose as a collaboration between Simone Giostra & Partners Architects, Permasteelisa North America, Zahner Metal Fabrication, Scheuten Solar USA, and Arup. Why so many players for one Beijing building facade? Because the thing does so darn much. Sol Pix is an energy-efficient curtain wall that houses multiple banks of LEDs and PVCs.
Essentially a shading system that shuts out or lets in light depending on the interior heating/cooling needs, Solar Pix also sucks energy from the sun all day-all the better to power the 2,292 individual lights that create a 24,000 Sq. Ft. interactive media display once night falls.
SolPix. Designed by Simone Giostra, Permasteelisa North America, Zahner Metal Fabrication, Scheuten Solar USA and Arup.
The math adds up to make Beijing's Xicui Entertainment Complex the largest LED color display in the world. Nor is the building entirely a dark canvas during the day. The polycrystalline solar cells are clustered such to allow fortuitous passage of light, thus taking the strain off interior lighting costs while providing universally-preferred natural illumination. The facade also features intra-panel sensors that measure climatological change (wind pressure and solar variation), info. that's read by integrated software to produce an animatronic reactivity: "creating real-time interactive animations that transform the building facade into a responsive environment."
If the matinee doesn't do it for you, however, you really should stay for the late show. Video of Xicui at night shows the silhouette of a massive ballerina, expertly executing her “Croise En Avant," the lacy fringe of her 1,000 ft. tutu subtly a-flutter; or the ominous cut of a monstrous hammerhead shark, the dorsal fin knifing the water (and, so it would seem, the Beijing sky) with perfectly elegant menace. Then there are the light shows. As the largest extant color LED display, Giostra's creation can do anything and everything in full, living color. Whether that means a dancing rainbow of light or an inter-active art exhibition with HD accuracy and precision depends on the whim of the passing moment. And speaking of passing, if you don't happen to be passing by Xicui anytime soon, check out the Cooper Hewitt Triennial–the Sol Pix informative visual display is up and running at that venue through January 9, 2011.