Dezeen Magazine

Microclimates by PostlerFerguson

These conceptual cooling units by London designers PostlerFerguson would be made from 3D-printed sand.

Called Microclimates, the pods would be printed layer by layer on a large rapid-prototyping machine using locally sourced sand and a magnesium binging agent.

Water evaporating from the porous material would lower the temperature of the sand, in turn cooling the air as it flows through each pod.

A complex internal structure would create a large surface area for this heat exchange to take place efficiently.

The project was designed for Dubai gallery and studio Traffic.

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The information below is from the designers:

Microclimates/Postlerferguson 2010

What strikes us about Dubai is the energy and technological sophistication of the city that has arisen in the last few decades in one of the most ancient areas of human civilization. Dubai’s architecture is striking not only for its design, but also for the leaps in construction technology employed to realize it.

Our proposal draws on both the hypermodern, global city of today and the traditional building techniques that are ancient Dubai’s heritage. Microclimates is not just an installation, but a building language that can be reused again and again to create new public spaces. Traditional Islamic architecture dealt sustainably with the harsh desert climate by careful control of light and airflow through elements such as the masharabiya, wind towers, and earthen walls.

Microclimates are built up layer by layer out of locally sourced sand combined with a magnesium based binder. Using custom software, Microclimates is based on a three-dimensional interpretation of the masharabiya built from local sand by using a large scale rapid prototyping machine (developed by D-Shape), with a complex internal structure whose large internal surface area efficiently conditions air passing through it by evaporative cooling.

Combining the principals behind these ancient building elements with the most advanced computer-aided manufacturing techniques, we are able to create new methods of construction that draw on the aesthetic and sustainable benefits of traditional buildings to realize a modern vision of what 21st century architecture in Dubai could achieve.

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