When looking back at the history of architecture, we realize that the architecture was primarily static, only ‘changing’ as the environment would change, affecting the material of the façade in different ways.
These interesting facades were achieved through materiality or ornamentation, present in structures like Venice’s San Marco, a mosaic of spiritual treasure, and in the elaborate friezes of the Parthenon. Over time, as technology progressed, the facades transformed as well. This paved the way for designers to develop an architecture that responds to environmental stimuli in more interesting ways than ever before. Today, our cutting-edge technology offers dynamically transforming buildings from static monoliths to ever-moving surfaces. These moving facades are what is known as kinetic architecture.
The simple form of kinetic architecture such as the drawbridge on castles can be traced back to the Middle Ages. But it wasn’t until the 20th century that architects truly began to discuss the possibility for movement as a significant portion of buildings superstructure. This is because the advancements in mechanics, electronics, and robotics provided new horizons to be explored and innovated.
In this video, Critically Selected take a deep dive into some of the world’s most innovative kinetic facades, sophisticated engineering that broke the boundaries of architectural facade design.
Video by Critically Selected