January 24th, 2023

What are Kinetic Buildings?

The structures of the KINETIC building can change their appearance by repositioning themselves, for the reason to benefit the users with more space and to behave accordingly with environmental conditions. 

It’s a concept that is technically existed for hundreds of years in the form of bridges that can be raised when there is a ship to pass, such as back in times to the first drawbridges that emerged on castles. As of today, the modern world of the 21st century which is advanced with the knowledge of mechanics, robotics and electrical systems are paving ways to the new opportunities and opening up the unique frontiers.
To respond to the weather condition of Abu Dhabi which is a city that welcomes harsh sunlight 12 months a year; Al Bahar Tower features a façade system that is responsive to save the glazing from scorching sunlight. Aedas Architects (ANR) have a wonderful team of computational design that simulated the operations of facades in different seasons with the creative approach of incidence angels; tried and tested in a virtual environment before they were manufactured and installed on-site.

Abu Dhabi’s Al Bahar Towers are one of the world’s largest examples of kinetic elements in building

Mashrabiya – a traditional Islamic lattice shading device was used as a façade. The largest example for kinetic elements in a building is Al Bahar Towers with a height of 145 meters. 

The special feature that enables it to be different from other is the door in every room that can be available for accessing the terrace when the pods are open whereas it can be closed when the pods are turning inwards.

Above: The One Ocean Thematic Pavilion's skin integrates an array of moving lamellas

One more example that can be viewed was in Yesosu, South Korea, where the kinetic wonder of One Ocean Thematic pavilion is present. It was raised in 2012 for the expo featuring the array of moving lamellas that feels like the skin of the building. If offers the different lighting configuration at night and shading to its internal spaces in the daytime.
It was inspired by a research-based project at the University of Stuttgart ITKE, that investigate the moving biological mechanism which is integrated on an architectural scale.
More we can find some European examples as well. 1600 perforated shutters were wrapped around the University of South Denmark’s new Kolding Campus.
The amazing feature that we should talk about is the capability of this system, which is mixed with the building envelope; have the sense that it measures heat levels and light. It adjusts with the ideal environment by moving the shutters working on the mechanical engineered small motors. Ensuring the comfortable indoor climate and maintaining optimal daylight,
The shutters’ triangular forms mimic that of the building’s floor plate.

The shading example was replicated Kiefer Technic’s showroom in Austria. Throughout the day the perforated aluminum panels adjust themselves with the sensing capability to by internal climate and sunlight angels. 
These technologies have begun a new era of retractable roofs which can be visible at many stadiums in the coming years, saving many a sporting event. 
The most notable is perhaps at Wimbledon in the UK. Retractable pitches, enabling flexible use of stadia are also becoming more prevalent. 
We have tried to show you some examples of modern Kinetic building but as the technology advance, you can expect to see more.

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