The newest installation in Los Angeles' Materials and Applications courtyard is quite the sight. It's a collaborative project between architects Doris Sung and Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter as well as structural engineer Matthew Melnyk. Bloom is a 20-ft tall metal flower that opens and closes with the daily heat. The piece is made out of sheet metal that has been laser-cut and assembled in a self-organizing pattern.
This installation is meant to examine the role of thermally responsive metal surfaces for use in construction. The panels respond to both atmospheric temperature and direct solar exposure. When the panels are cool, they form a solid barrier, but when heated up they fan out to allow for better air flow, providing more surface area for shade. Check out the video, below, for a time-lapse of Bloom's construction. This amazing project will be on display until Spring 2012.
Photo credit: Brandon Shigeta