Main Architecture and Design One Ocean: Variform and Global

One Ocean: Variform and Global

One Ocean: Variform and Global

The Thematic Pavilion for the EXPO 2012 planned by the Austrian architecture office soma One Ocean was selected as the first prize winner in an open international competition in 2009. The main design intent was to embody the Expo’s theme The Living Ocean and Coast and transform it into a multi-layered architectural experience. Therefore the Expo’s agenda, namely the responsible use of natural resources was not visually represented, but actually embedded into the building, e.g. through the sustainable climate design or the biomimetic approach of the kinetic façade. Organically inscribed into the landscape, the pavilion has become one of main attractions of Yeosu and model of sustainable design and innovative engineering solutions.

Theme Pavilion One Ocean is built in the water area of the former cargo port on the artificial island, on which you can get via the two pedestrian bridges, passing in the boulevard.

We experience the Ocean mainly in two ways, as an endless surface and in an immersed perspective as depth. This plain/profound duality of the Ocean motivates the building’s spatial and organizational concept.

Continuous surfaces twist from vertical to horizontal orientation and define all significant interior spaces. The vertical cones invite the visitor to immerse into the Thematic Exhibition. They evolve into horizontal levels that cover the foyer and become a flexible stage for the Best Practice Area. Continuous transitions between contrasting experiences also form the outer appearance of the Pavilion. Towards the sea the conglomeration of solid concrete cones define a new meandering coastline, a soft edge that is in constant negotiation between water and land. Opposite side the pavilion develops out of the ground into an artificial landscape with plateaus and scenic paths. The topographic lines of the roof turn into lamellas of the kinetic media façade that faces the Expo’s entrance and draws attention to the pavilion after sunset.

The pavilion inhabited the thematic exhibition that gave visitors an introduction to the EXPO’s agenda. The Best Practice Area on the upper level was functioned as a flexible stage for organizations and institutions. The permanent building is constructed in a former industrial harbor along a new promenade. After the EXPO the pavilion became a new attraction point for tourists and local residents.The cutting-edge façade system was developed together with Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering and supports the aim of the world exhibition to introduce forwardlooking innovations to the public. Eschewing virtual animation and conventional hinged louvers, Soma worked to develop a kinetic outer skin that uses low-tech hardware and materials to produce innovative, bioinspired mechanics.

The façade moves by elastically deforming its 108 louver fins, each of which measures between 10 and 42 feet tall and 0.35 inch thick. Made out of glass fiber-reinforced polymer, each fin-or “lamella” to borrow the anatomical term for gill tissue-is compressed at its top and bottom by actuators attached to the pavilion structure. As it gets squeezed, the lamella begins to buckle longitudinally along one of its side edges, which creates an opening in the building skin. Meanwhile, the lamella’s remaining side edgewhich is reinforced by a stiffening rib to hold its fixed shape-pivots on a bearing, widening or narrowing the louver opening. Sited on a manmade island in a formerly industrial harbor, the pavilion must withstand typhoon winds, humid summers, and freezing winters. Its sea-facing west elevation is a bulwark of hollow concrete cones, designed to withstand the elements. The interstitial spaces between the cones are orientated towards the prevailing wind direction to ventilate the foyer and the Best Practice Area naturally. In the large vertical exhibition cones controlled air stratification leads to a reduction of conditioned volume and consumed energy. During daytime the kinetic lamellas are used to control solar input. The engineers of Transsolar analyzed the building’s performance. Through simulations its geometry was optimized to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency.

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Materials provided by Soma