Tarek as an isolation or structure element,

Tarek Mohamed
Tarek Fouad
1Masters degree from Architecture Dept., Faculty of Fine Arts,
Helwan University


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Through time, construction techniques & mechanisms became
integrated with many systems, such as the information technology system tools,
in which gave architects inspirations & generated movements for innovative
concepts & buildings that are environmental friendly & other benefits
that is required to be delivered for a better life quality in the built

One of the most noticeable movements was the dynamic architecture,
where architects can make their vision of transforming buildings come to
reality, & one of the elements in the built environment that affected by
this movement, was the facades of the buildings, as it transformed from being a
static vertical architectural element to a dynamic multifunctional free motion
element. (Maziar Asefi, 2012) (Arch2O, 2017)

In this research, problems are addressed at first, then a
literature review of dynamic solutions on the facades in the built environment,
after that global study cases will be mentioned under three categories (Environmental/Advertisement/Art)
& will be analyzed for the possible potentials of applying it in Cairo.
Finally, Conclusions & Recommendations will be addressed.


The existence of basic knowledge in education & practice of
dynamic solutions on the facades, & the awareness to its potentials, would
help solving or enhancing many problems in Cairo, such as;

Building facades & other
vertical elements, are one of the most wasted spaces in the built environment
in Cairo, as it is considered just as an isolation or structure element, & left
without a treatment, either function or artistic & left ugly.












The extreme usage of AC in office
buildings & other glass skinned buildings; in order to stabilize the heat
resulted from the direct sunlight.











over numbered bill boards on the 6th October Bridge & other high ways, that
has a lot of buildings behind them with potentials of using their facades for










Uncontrolled Phenomenon happened on the wasted facades, such as
graffiti or random green walls.







of maintenance abilities for dynamic advertising billboard & badly
positioned, as it happened with coca cola billboard in Nasr city





brief sentences, the problems in Cairo can be addressed as follows:

Waste of potential spaces for
dynamic facades.

Using excess AC as a treatment for
the heat resulted from direct sun light.

Wasting money on making Billboard

Empty facades overtaken by random human
actions & nature.

Lack of maintenance knowledge for
dynamic billboards or positioning the billboard.

Therefore, the problems can be mainly focused on three types (or
scales) of facades: Build skin (Environmental aspect) – Advertising Bill
Boards (Economical aspect) – Art Work spaces (Social aspect), & there
is the possibility the mix of two categories at the same time.


find the potentials of dynamic solutions on the facades in built environment
& the possibility to be applied in Cairo, to solve or lessens the problems
mentioned before, in the three aspects, environment, economy & Society.


Dynamic solutions in architectural designs can be addressed as
Dynamic architecture, in which buildings modify their shape constantly,
attracting people for the movements occurred in a static environment. (Andrés
de Antonio Crespo, 2007).

Also the buildings, or certain parts of it, can respond to the external
environmental conditions, such as direct sunlight & wind, so that buildings
can save energy and reduce running cost. (Maziar Asefi, 2012). One of these parts in the buildings, is the
façade, it can be the wall itself of a building or an external skin. The façade
also can be any other vertical spaces in the built environment, the columns of
bridges, the fences around specific areas and a lot other spaces (Arch2O, 2017).
And by integrating Dynamic solutions in those facades, it’s called Dynamic


In this research, the study cases of Dynamic solutions on the
facades, was chosen based on three main functions; Environmental Treatment in
buildings – Advertising Billboards – Interactive artistic Facades

5.1. Environmental Treatment

Due to
the advanced technology methods available now, architects can treat the
environmental problems that effect negatively on the building running cost &
the user physical health. They basically use the responsive systems in moving
objects of the facades or the external skin through sensors according to some
environmental factors, direct sunlight, wind & others, & also it can be
controlled by the user (Kathy Velikov & Geoffrey Thun, 2012).

In 2014, Ben Van Berkel, the co-founder of UNStudio, addressed
that; “Through fully integrated design strategies, today’s facade can
provide responsive and performative envelopes that both contextually and conceptually
react to their local surroundings, whilst simultaneously determining interior
conditions,” (Arch2O, 2017).

5.1.1 Responsive External Foldable Skin: Al Bahar Towers

example has unique approach for solving the heat resulting from the direct sun
heat & excess use of AC, by creating an external skin with foldable shading
devices (Shady Attia, 2017).









How it works ( Sensors )



5.1.2 Responsive Triangular shutters: SDU Campus Kolding

In this project, the solar
shading system shutters consist of approx. 1,600 triangular shutters of
perforated steel & are integrated with the building. They are equipped with sensors
that measure light and heat levels inside the building and adjusts by opening, semi
opening or closing automatically (xxx,20xx).

Figure (5-2).









How it works



5.1.3 Responsive Vertical Folding facade: Kiefer technic showroom








How it works



5.1.4 Thematic Pavilion dynamic envelope: One Ocean







How it works


5.1.5 Hybrid Environmental-Media Facades

How it works



5.2. Advertising Billboards

Coca Cola advertising 3D Robotic billboard

independently moving LED screens



How it works



5.3. Artistic

5.3.1 Mega faces

How it works






5.3.1 Hypo surfaces








How it works


5.3.2 Aperture

How it works



Interactive Mirror art works

Interactive Fur

Interactive art with wooden mirrors

How it works


6. Conclusions
& Recommendations





Andrés de Antonio Crespo (2007).
Conceptual Design of a Building with Movable Parts, Masters thesis of
Engineering in civil and environmental engineering, Massachusetts institute of
technology. June 2017

Arch2O (2017) Dynamic Facades: The
Story, Arch2O architectural website, 
https://www.arch2o.com/dynamic-facades-the-story/ , Accesed 15/12/2017

Kathy Velikov & Geoffrey Thun
(2012). Design and Construction of High Performance Homes: Building Envelopes,
Renewable Energies and Integrated Practice, Edition: 1, Chapter: 1.3, published
October 2012, pp.75-92

Maziar Asefi (2012) Transformation
and movement in architecture: the marriage among art, engineering and
technology, Published in Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 51 (2012).

Shady Attia (2017). Evaluation of
adaptive facades: The case study of Al Bahr Towers in the UAE. Paper Published
by: glassonweb.com, at: 10/11/2017http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/index.cfm  


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