METI Pavilion

The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan commissioned Noiz Architects to design their main pavilion for the Eco Products 2011 Expo located at Tokyo Big Site. In the spirit of the Expo theme, Noiz implemented experimental structural and building system generated by energy optimization and customized fabrication. Total of three pavilions were designed into a theater space, a smart home, and a rooftop terrace to host demonstrations and presentations of innovative technology and products. Together they formed a “smart community” representing a possible state of living environment powered by environmental-conscious technology of the near future.

The pavilions were designed as if they were taken from an entire city-scaled community of similar buildings, the shape of which are defined by their surroundings and orientation to the sun to allow for maximum solar power generation. Depending upon several parametric values such as site shape, building code, surrounding condition, weather, latitude, and etc. A general example of this is that the south facing sides are all generally sloped more closely towards the ideal solar gathering angle of a typical solar panel in a solar energy farm. Additionally, the area between the buildings allows for wind-flow to be controlled and forced into areas where wind turbines can also be used to create energy. Entire cityscape can be Optimized as maximum fluidity, and efficiency for each corner of the town. The shape and openings of the pavilion are also the result of sunlight/heat optimization as well as natural ventilation in limited amount of structure. As new eco-products are being developed for the future, the design of the pavilions and their orientation amongst each other centered around the idea of maximum solar insulation. A recent development in solar generative paint may soon allow the entire surface of a building to become a solar power generator.
The pavilions were constructed by a system of triangular cells made from paper-thin steel plates (t=0.5mm). The plates were each laser-cut so that the fins of cells could be folded by hand and connected to each other by bolt. The entire design followed diverse parameter such as environment, structure and material size. Since the composition and the construction method is quite simple, we could make a real-time feedback loop through the environmental contexts, design and construction data. Each panel is composed of triangular surface and folding ribs which work as connecting device as well . Each surface is given address code inscribed by laser cutting to ensure simple and efficient assemblage. While this project is still a prototype, waterproofing and heat insulation is not included in the system. However, along with structure and cost efficiency, these can be reasonably integrated as parameters in the design/fabrication system and we are working on the next round of prototypes with those being in consideration.

Year: 2011

Category: exhibition

Status: Built

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Photo Credit: 阿野 太一