NOTES on the CLIMATE RIBBONThe CLIMATE RIBBON TM is an artistic expression of natural forces, of sun wind and rain in light, telling a story about man and nature in symbiosis.
A Sun Shade
Shop fronts that would normally be exposed to direct sun radiation are protected for the majority of the sun’s rays. Priority has been given to midday and evening sun in the hotter seasons as these moments are most associated with higher temperatures. Circulation routes, restaurant and café areas have also been provided with protection.
A Breeze Path
Though air conditioning would be a means of ensuring a predictable air temperature inside the shopping centre it would not be considered ecological. The Climate Ribbon strives to improve the perceived temperature conditions for the public in the shopping centre by encouraging a breeze flow in the public spaces through harnessing the summer trade winds.
A Rainwater Collector
CLIMATE RIBBON surfaces are inclined and sloped to channel rainwater to specific collection points where it is stored and re-used for planting irrigation and other purposes. Beyond this functional performance it is a unique sculptural icon for the Brickell City Centre that expresses Swire properties’ commitment to sustainable development.
The CLIMATE RIBBON was inspired by…
SIMULATION & ANALYSIS
Two very distinct aspect of wind were considered in the CLIMATE RIBBON TM design. Hurricane storm winds are the primary force that the structure must withstand while at the same time breezes are desired and encouraged.
SUN & DAYLIGHT SIMULATION
Optimal comfort conditions for the public realm require a balance of shade and natural light. Shading is necessary for comfort while indirect light and views of the sky are desirable.
RAIN SIMULATIONAfter Sun and Wind, rainwater is another important parameter of the CLIMATE RIBBON TM design.
Given that the CLIMATE RIBBON TM jumps between the different buildings on distinct city blocks, the design has to take into account that the blocks move differentially between each other. It must float above them without locking in structurally to all of them at the same time. This is achieved by subdividing the ribbon into a series of independent units minimally connected to the retail plinth in a ‘statically determinate’ manner, like a series of tectonic plates that move relatively to each other. The gaps in the blades show the lines where the movement occurs. The ribbon surface itself is made in stiff planes and supported on multiple pinned legs. Each unit has one braced point firmly linked to a single building where the legs are triangulated, and other support pont where the legs are articulated to allow separate buildings to shift beneath the ribbon. The ‘parent’ buildings beneath the CLIMATE RIBBON TM are designed to withstand the horizontal forces from the Ribbon at these stiff points and the vertical forces at all of the other points.
The biggest force the CLIMATE RIBBON TM must withstand are hurricane wind loads. Wind forces on the whole surface are determined by combining wind tunnel laboratory data with Florida building code calculation methods. The structural analysis shows the theoretical wind forces determined in the wind tunnel. The wind is applied as a force that is perpendicular to each glass plane and the cumulative forces are calculated for all the members and the support columns.
MATERIALS & FABRIC
LAYERS & GEOMETRY
There are 3 layers to the CLIMATE RIBBON TM: Steel framing, a Glass covering and the Fabric blades suspended beneath. Three basic materials.
STEELSteel is the primary structural material, not only of the CLIMATE RIBBON TM but also of the main Parent Buildings of BCC retail podium and towers. It is durable, predictable and structurally the most efficient and economically optimal material available for the project. Initiated in Miami, conceived in Paris, engineered in Germany and fabricated in the Czech Republic, the CLIMATE RIBBON TM steel was shipped back to Miami across the Atlantic Ocean. A primary ‘Delta beam’ triangular truss provides a frame around the perimeter of the ribbon, resting on the inclined support legs. Repetitive box beams span across the space between the Delta beam frames. The box beams are welded-up from steel plates whose thicknesses vary as a function of the forces in them to optimise tonnage. Connection plates, bolt splices, glazing support surfaces and threaded studs are all factory prepared to allow simple site assembly. All welds are quality tested by Miami qualified inspectors to ensure weld integrity is to the required structural standards. The steel is then rust protected and finished with a light grey paint to diminish its visual impact against the blades.
GLASSThe glass skin, resting directly on the steel beams, provides the rain shelter protection. Two sheets of heat strengthened glass are laminated together to make safety glass. The glass has a ‘frit’ printed in a dot pattern to provide further solar protection to the blades. To comply with Florida hurricane safety parameters, the glass is tested to ‘missile impact’ standards where a 2×4 is projected against it at high speed while the surface subjected to hurricane wind pressures. All glass was pre-cut and treated in Austria, and, like the steel, transported by ship across the Atlantic.
FABRIC BLADESThe blades are a fluid warped surface that can only be made in a tailorable and supple material. Architectural fabric, a building equivalent of sailcloth, was chosen. It is a fibre-glass mesh coated with PTFE (a durable polymer called Polytetrafluoroethylene), more commonly known as Teflon for its non-stick characteristics and inertness. The material is often used for large span applications such as football stadiums or fair event canopies. Its longevity and durability is critical to the success of the blades. In addition to the formability of the material, the translucency of the material is an important factor to give the CLIMATE RIBBON TM its feel of lightness. The fabric is tailored to form-found shapes, using patterning software, similar to that used in dressmaking and the fashion industry. It is cut and heat-welded and then stretched onto steel frames. The steel frames, consist of tubular edge profiles with spacing diaphragms. The fabric is fixed to these frames at preassembly facilities in Miami near the site. Each blade is then lifted into place and pinned to the supporting steel frame. Though the CLIMATE RIBBON TM is an entirely static composition of over a thousand tons of steel, two and a half acres of glass and three and a half acres of fabric, it gives the feeling of movement expressing nature, climate and our commitment to the environment.
Steel Structure (Tonnes)
Miscellaneous finishes (Tonnes)
Over sea containers
Client: Swire Properties, Hong Kong and Miami Architects: Arquitectonica, Miami, Florida Climate Ribbon Designer: Hugh Dutton Associés, Paris Sustainability peer reviews: – University of Carnegie Melon and Cardiff University Wind tunnel consultants and testing – RWDI, Guelph, Ontario Canada General Contractor: Americaribe Morarity Joint Venture Climate Ribbon Design Build Contractor: Gartner, Wurzburg, Germany Steel Subcontractor: Signum SPOL, Czech Republic Glazing supplier: Eckelt, Austria Fabric engineering: FTL Stuttgart Fabric Manufacturer: Cannobio Italy
HDA Team | Hugh Dutton | Sébastien Perrault (co-designer) | Henry Bardsley | Gaëtan Kohler | Pier Luigi Bucci | Mitsu Edwards | François Signal | Fabio Rebolini.