The Venice Biennale is undoubtedly one of the most important architectural events in the world, so there is no surprise that the presented projects are at a high level. Many architects notice the need for changing the world and creating responsive architecture which will combine both biological and engineering approach.

The project of the Israeli pavilion presents the Nanocellulose Desert Shelter and was designed by NCArchitects, professor Oded Shasayov and architect Guy Austern. It is a modern sustainable solution for a desert nomad encampment, which is inspired by sand dune morphology.

The project combines traditional approach with new technologies and is inspired by nature. The material used is CNC-cellular nanocellulose which is 10 times stronger than steel and the perfect source for it is industry waste pulp and paper. There are many advantages of CNC, such as: its self-healing properties between layers | its light weight and high viscosity which enable the creation of thin vertical layers | the possibility to use the same material in the wall construction with a different molecular arrangement instead of using different materials | the possibility of using an integrated system instead of a complex infrastructure construction | the idea of the same material making the connection between a wall and a window, instead of complicated connections between multiple materials and technologies (CNC foam for a wall, CNC film for a window).

The whole structure of the shell, floor and supporters were calculated and derived from Parametric Physics Engines. The shell is a self-supporting structure, inspired by the microscopic section of cellulose with an opening for solar panels. The structure is optimized and the shell and supportive columns are using a minimal amount of material.Israeli-PavilionThe systems used in the project are fully integrated. The energy system consists of solar cells which are distributed over the southern part of the structure and were placed according to Grasshopper calculations. Electricity is stored in absorption chillers and then used to cool the water in the cooling system.

As a result of cooling the surface to a temperature under the dew point, air condenses on the surface. The collected water from the air is inserted into the cooling system when needed, while the passively cooled air is flowing through the structure. The cold water system is piped through the flooring by the shortest path to get the cold water distributed quickly. The inspiration for it is the living organism where oxygen is moving in the body along the shortest path. The floor acts as a solar mass to absorb the cold from the cooling system and slowly release and cool the interior during the day.

The Israeli pavilion shows how new technologies and using natural sources in architecture can influence architecture and help people who lack access to water and electricity.

To learn more, visit the Israeli pavilion at la Biennale di Venezia (till 27.11)
Website of the project:
Source: NCArchitects | All images: ©NCArchitects

Israeli-Pavilion-7Article: Agnieszka Radziszewska (Laka)

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