p1_Derek Sommers_23ARCH719_Media TIC

Barcelona’s Media TIC building houses office space for information /communication technology businesses as well as general public exhibition space.  According to it’s designer, Enric Ruiz Geli, the building establishes a balance between architecture and digital energy.

The performative elements of the Media TIC are found in its facades, which feature eco-efficient ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cladding.  The southeast’s primary exterior wall absorbs sunlight an average of six hours every day.  This surface is constructed from a series of concave and convex triangles, each of which contain 3 separate layers of the plastic material which are inflated like pillows.  The interaction between the chambers not only creates a shading effect but also provides the building with thermal insulation.

The southwest facade receives a slightly different architectural treatment.  Here, two layers of the ETFE compartments are filled with nitrogen.  When exposed to the sun’s radiation, the particle density within the chambers creates a cloud-like solar filter.

The project’s design is particularly relevant to studies of building skin, as its approach trancends the use of raw building materials and ventures into explorations of elemental interaction.


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