Never a dull day here...

Monday 31 Oct 2011

Aquapanel house changes colour at the push of a button

Orange House is a three-storey residence constructed from steel, located on a very steep site. The site has a nice combination of urban views and of the forest surrounding the Middle East Technical University.

The building is composed of five separate rectangular volumes that are connected via glass curtain walls. The building follows a 60 x 60 cm grid structure; therefore the proportions of the volumes obey this dimensioning. These volumes are made up of aquapanels, which are cement-based materials covered with glass fibre mesh.

The aquapanels are plastered and coloured with orange plastic paint, which does not fade away even when it is subject to intense sunlight during summer. Both the outside and the inside walls of the volumes are painted in orange. Therefore, the orange colour of the outside façade continues at the inside spaces. In this building, colour has a particular dominance over the design.

Both exterior and interior spaces are designed by putting colour at the focus of attention. During the day, the building is clearly visible from far away as the result of its orange colour. At night, one may observe color changes at exterior and interior spaces in certain time periods. LED lighting equipment that is mounted to such architectural elements as façade, pools, stairs, and terrace decks is helpful in achieving such a color effect.

Basically, users can control the colours of the exterior and interior via a tablet-like panel that controls the lighting of the building. Every element of which the lighting equipment is mounted can be the subject of control. For instance, one may observe that the building, pools or stairs turn red in an instant. Or he/she may visualise colour changes in every step of the interior stairs. The client, the architect and the lighting designer worked together to achieve such effect throughout the building.

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