Silicone bubbles for architectural purposes.
Integrating bubbles into a dynamically changing facade is an innovative concept. The bubbles have to strongly adhere to the textile facade and yet be flexible enough to be inflated. To achieve this the team uses two different types of silicone in the construction of the bubbles and precise pneumatic actuators to inflate them. Combining the bubbles with LED lighting will only increase the wow factor.
The goal is to create a new facade matrix of Bubbles of variable volume and colour as decorative visual element. The prototype will be at least 1 m2 big Bubble Facade element for buildings. The see-through woven fabric in the facade element will hold a pattern of silicone bubbles. When inflated the facade will display a fashionable opaque design and glow in the dark. By combining the bubble facace with a sensor system, the pores of the underlying textile can open and close and, working as an smart regulator system for the light coming in and out, saving energy.
Textiles were always a fascination for all mankind and were already used more than 30.000 years ago. The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered almost beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques.
The idea itself is as fascinating as it is simple. The façade consists of dozens of small bubbles which can be inflated. The expanded bubbles can close the entire façade surface making them an ideal privacy screen. This function makes the Bubble Façade™ as functional as visually appealing.
Bubbles and colorful balls have always given us emotions like joy and happiness. We developed a facade system using inflatable bubbles made of silicone materials. Two different stages can be realized: the first stage we call it transparency mode where the bubbles are deflated, and you can see through the façade system. Second stage is the 3D wall where the bubbles are inflated so you won’t be able to see what is behind it. Now just imagine what endless possibilities we get with a controllable façade system which can be both opaque and transparent.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
Surface materials and building facades are still used today mainly for reasons of simple protective functions. Facades protect the interior from the uncontrollable weather conditions outside. Interior partition walls severely limit the flexibility and spatial atmosphere in the building. All these surfaces have a much greater potential than we use today. We came up with the idea of Bubble Façade™ in order to use these surfaces more sensibly. On the one hand, when installed outside, they can protect the building from overheating and combine this with an incredibly beautiful design. Inside, bubble facade creates a unique atmosphere of space in a playful way.
Together we have developed our latest innovation: The morphing Bubble Façade™
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
At the beginning, the transformation of the Idea morphing Bubble into a structural arrangement was problematic. Our idea is to stay as close as possible to the dream and still create an industrially producible product, which in turn is available to as many people as possible.
A major challenge was to create the smallest possible bubbles in large numbers. After countless test series, we succeeded in finding the optimal chemical mixing ratio and the joining technology between textile elements and bubbles.
We are the Bubble Façade™ team and together we have formed an interdisciplinary research team that deals with the development and innovation of textile structures. Since 2015 we have been working on the development of innovative textile building envelopes that combine energy efficiency and stunning modern design. Think of it as a T-shirt that you can pull over any existing building without affecting the general building structure. When you look at great fashion designers, you get a different collection every 6 months. The problem with existing textile façade systems is that the material structure has not changed for 30 years. We asked ourselves: Why?
Within a short time, we managed to realize the Bubbles from our imagination into a physical product. Our next step is to scale the production process for large building surfaces. We are already working on a variant for the exterior and on the individual control of the Bubbles for a pixel facade.
Let’s work together to revolutionize and realize innovative façade systems of the future.
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Martin Lieser from TLE is a technician and Bachelor student of Aerospace Technology.
In 2019, he co-founded the startup TLE to commercialise Smart Textile products.
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JAN SERODE is an architect who is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University, Germany.
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GIANNI TONINO is an architecture student who has designed several morphing facades for buildings in the last few years. Martin Lieser from TLE is a technician and Bachelor student of Aerospace Technology. In 2019, he co-founded the startup TLE to commercialise Smart Textile products.
- GIANNI TONINO