FIRM: dosu studio architecture
PRINCIPAL: doris sung
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: matthew melnyk (nous engineering)
TEAM: dylan wood (project coordinator), evan shieh, kristi butterworth, ali chen, renata ganis, derek greene, garrett helm, julia michalski, sayo morinaga, kelly wong
ROLE: design development, fabrication

YEAR: five (5)
OPENING DATE: november, 2011
DESIGN LENGTH: one (1) year
CONSTRUCTION LENGTH: three (3) months

PROJECT SITE: materials & application gallery, los angeles, california
A sun-tracking instrument indexing time and temperature, "Bloom" stitches together material experimentation, structural innovation, and computational form/pattern-making into an environmentally responsive installation. The form's responsive surface is made primarily out of 14,000 unique thermobimetal tiles, a lamination of two metals with different coefficients of expansion. Each individual piece automatically curls a specified amount when the outdoor ambient temperature rises above 20? celsius, requiring no electrical energy or controls. This allows strategic shading and ventilation of specific areas of the shell as the sun heats up its surface. In order to heighten the sensitivity of the skin, the overall form is oriented towards the sun's arc to maximize solar exposure and away from the shade (much like the growth of plants and flowers), and is optimized for peak performance on spring equinox, March 20, 2012.

Composed of 414 hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped stacked panels, the self-supporting structure challenges the capability of the interdependent materials to perform as a shell. The panels combine a double-ruled surface of bimetal tiles with an interlocking, folded aluminum frame system. Like the undulation of the surface, the structural frame, by nature of its folds, is designed to appear on the inner or outer surface at the same cadence of the hyperbolic peaks and valleys.

The final monocoque form, lightweight and flexible, is dependent on the overall geometry and its combination of materials to provide comprehensive stability. In certain portions of Bloom, the hypar panels are made stiffer by increasing the number of riveted connections, while in other areas, the panels are deeper to increase their structural capability. The severely twisted panel shapes aid in the performance of the surface and challenges the digital and fabrication capabilities of parametric design. Within a single panel, portions of the surface directly face the sun, while the opposite side remains in the shade and requires no curling reaction. The resultant pattern is a dramatic variation in tile shapes and functions within each panel.

Combined with the sun-facing, free-standing geometry, the reliance on powerful software to generate parametric patterns is inevitable and exemplary. With today's digital technology and driving interest in sustainable design, this simple material can transcend its currently limited role as a mechanical actuating device to a dynamic building surface material, while expanding the discourse of performative architecture on many levels.

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