HiWorks Architecture Redesigns Houston’s Rocket Park, Without Being Asked

HiWorks' scheme posits a segmented building with glass sections that allow views in to the moon rocket. (Courtesy HiWorks Architecture)

HiWorks’ scheme posits a segmented building with glass sections that allow views in to the moon rocket. (Courtesy HiWorks Architecture)

When I was a boy growing up in Houston, Texas, one of my favorite field trips was the drive down to Clear Lake to tour NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. One of the highlights of the visit—in addition to seeing Mission Control, eating astronaut ice cream, and picking up a new zero-gravity pen in the gift shop—was the enormous Saturn V rocket, lying on its side in sections, that greeted you as you approached the facility at the corner of Saturn Lane and 2nd Street.

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Metal Mesh Screens Passively Cool Equatorial New Guinea’s Sipopo Congress Center

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Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Sipopo Congress Center in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial New Guinea

By tracking the sun’s trajectory, Tabanlıoğlu Architects created a shading system to cool and camouflage a high traffic building in a tropical climate

In their overview of the Sipopo Congress Center that Tabanlıoğlu Architects built last summer in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial New Guinea, the Istanbul-based firm noted its importance as the first of what they predict will be a wave of “new innovative and prestigious buildings” constructed as a result of the country’s growing oil revenues and wealth of natural resources. Prescient though that may be, we noted its stunning facade, a staggered system of metal mesh screens designed to protect the building from the area’s intense heat and solar radiation. Not only do the screens deter direct sun while still allowing in a pleasant amount of sun-dappled light, the web-like pattern of the screens and their careful arrangement around the building act like camouflage, making it seam as if the Sipopo Congress Center is part of the landscape. Read More

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