GXN Pavilion

GXN Pavilion

An intriguing example of sustainable, intelligent composites, this pavilion, titled ‘Learning from Nature” uses biodegradable and energy generating materials that are also self cleaning and phase changing. Instead of fiberglass and resin, the composite structure is made up of flax fibers cast in a biological resin, and cork sheets are used as the core material, replacing typical polystyrene. Designed by GXN (a subgroup of 3XN Architects) for the ‘Green Architecture for the Future’ exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, with engineering of the composite structure by David Kendall, Optima Projects Ltd.

GXN is the Innovation Unit of 3XN and was founded in 2007. The ‘G’ stands for Green, highlighting GXNs dedication to ecological design research through digital processes and innovative material solutions. The mission is to develop a building culture that positively affects the world in which we live – both architecturally and environmentally. The work method of GXN is network based innovation where design solutions often emerge from multidisciplinary expertise.

“The ‘learning from nature’ pavilion has a coating of nanoparticles that makes the surfaces
self-cleaning. due to a hydrophilic nanostructure, rain water is dispersed beneath the dirt
on the surface, leaving it cleaner. a second coating adds air cleaning properties to the pavilion.
a chemical process called photocatalysis decomposes up to 70 percent of pollutants from
industrial smog.

The pavilion retains heat by using phase changing materials. heated by the sun, the material
retains the energy, releasing it again when the temperature drops. at exactly 23 degrees Celsius,
the material changes from a solid to a liquid form. when the temperature rises, the material
absorbs energy and is liquefied. when the temperature drops, it solidifies and releases energy.
in other words, the surface of the pavilion remains cooler when the temperature of the surroundings
is rising, and vice versa. it is estimated that phase changing materials can cut costs with
10 to 15 percent on heating and cooling of buildings.

The design of the pavilion is optimized according to function and material consumption.
the mode of expression and material consumption is digitally designed to meet the exact
needs, i.e. 14 layers of fiber and 84mm of cork are specifically designed to meet the dynamic
forces arising from wind load and the load from people walking on the surface.”Via Design Boom, images via3XN.