Learning From Nature


3XN has recently completed a pavilion – dubbed ‘Learning From Nature’ – as part of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art’s ‘Green Architecture for the Future’ architectural exhibition , intended to showcase design possibilities when using cutting edge, intelligent and sustainable materials.

The Pavilion has given us the opportunity to showcase the possibilities which exist in building with sustainable and intelligent materials. Our objective has been to show that Green Architecture can be dynamic and active.  We often think that we need to minimize use of resources at all costs. Instead of focusing on consuming the least amount of energy, we need to focus on producing and using energy and materials in a more intelligent way than is the case today.

~ Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Principal of 3XN


With a form derived from the mobius strip, the pavilion is essentially a showcase for these materials, technologies, and strategies – which I’l cover quickly here, so you can get an idea of what’s going on.

– the structure is biodegradable, so it can be decomposed after use

– synthetic materials have been replaced with biological/reusable ones, such as a bio composite made from flax fibers cast in biological resin for the outer shell of the structure, and cork sheets for the core

– 1mm flexible solar cells have been placed on the top face of the structure, which, in combination with piezoelectric materials in the floor that generate an electric current from the weight of the visitors, allows the pavilion to be energy self-sufficient [it powers integrated LED lights]

– the pavilion is coated with nanoparticles that make the surfaces self cleaning, and with a coating that adds ‘air cleaning properties’ to the structure through a chemical process called photocatalysis [air quality is improved within an 8-feet radius of air cleaning surfaces – for both effects, think titanium dioxide, altho I’m unsure if that’s what they used]

– the building retains heat using phase-changing materials, which retain energy when heated by the sun, and then release this energy as heat later in the day when the air cools


This right here is what I’m talking about – fight climate change, pollution, and energy consumption issues with siiick science + technology. I mean, imagine if all buildings were coated with self cleaning + air-cleaning materials – and the floors of all public spaces [and roads, maybe?] utilized piezoelectric materials to generate some electricity. None of these will single-handedly solve any of our current problems, but I’m down for a ‘death by thousand cuts’ solution to out climate and energy problems.

I would advise actually following some of those links for the materials – some really interesting stuff there, even though the links only scratch the surface of the potential uses.

::all info, images + quoted text provided by 3XN::

::photos by Adam Mørk::

Posted: July 9th, 2009
at 12:02pm by orangemenace

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: green arch,installation,featured ninjas

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