- Bamboo-structured façade concept by architects Nikolaus Hirsch, Michel Müller and artist Rirkrit Tiravanija represents oriental beauty and architectural elegance
- Technology enabled by OPV and OLED materials from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
- Collaboration with long-term industry partners OledWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, and its collaboration partners OledWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon today revealed a new textile façade concept combining OPV (organic photovoltaics) and OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) technologies at the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, an exhibition taking place from September 1 to November 5, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea.
As world-renowned architects, industry leaders, academics, and building scientists come together in Seoul to explore the potential opportunities for architecture and industry, one notable highlight of this project is precisely the multidisciplinary work of architectural and technological processes.
For the Seoul Biennale, German architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller, and New York-based Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija have developed a new building component of their ongoing “The Land” project. This new façade system will produce energy and emit light using advanced OPV and OLED technology, while seamlessly combining natural beauty with innovative design.
The eye-catching, shingle-like façade concept is suspended from a series of four-meter long bamboo tubes, which symbolizes oriental elegance, integrity and simplicity. The project is embedded in a sustainable and expanded life cycle that includes diverse sites and durations: from the Seoul Biennale in 2017 to the Luminale exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2018, and then from the Bau exhibition in Munich, Germany, to Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany, and finally arriving at “The Land” near Chiangmai, Thailand, where the prototype is to be realized in a larger version: a 400 m² building for research and workshops.
The title “Do We Dream Under The Same Sky” by Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija embraces a universal and global culture against the current particularisms and promotes a practice of togetherness, sharing, exchange, and experimentation. The site of the installation will be located in a public space in Seoul to ensure it is directly accessible to a large number of visitors and citizens.
David Müller, Global Head of Marketing Photovoltaics at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, explained, “From the grand success of OPV Trees at the MILAN Expo 2015 to our joint work with the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2015, our collaboration with our valuable long-term partners OledWorks, OPVIUS and Kolon continues to yield exciting results.” Martina Hueber, Head of Global Operative Marketing OLED at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, added that, “Our material solutions show the capability to combine innovative technologies, transform architecture and extend the realm of possibilities”.
“We are very pleased that OPV from Kolon and Opvius – the latter also responsible for the system design – has been introduced to the public through this exciting project. It demonstrates the powerful effect of the combination between technology, aesthetic and artistic elements, and we have confirmed the possibility of applying next-generation OPV to building materials. We wish this occasion to help familiarize the public with new organic solar cells and raise awareness for renewable energy, thus contributing to its further distribution and penetration," said Dr. Tae-Hwan Ahn, Senior Vice President of Kolon Industries.
“It is a privilege to work with our strategic partner, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, on this exciting project that showcases the superb OLED lighting experience so elegantly,” said David DeJoy, OLEDWorks CEO and co-founder. “The OLED panels blur the line between light engine and light fixture, providing simplicity in integration of light with a myriad of construction materials. This is beautifully revealed in Hirsch, Muller and Tiravanija’s stunning design.”
Our partner architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller commented, “The act of building is the result of a collaborative process. Yet, paradoxically, it is still broadly assumed that the complex entity of a building is hidden behind the unifying language conceived by a single author (usually the architect). Do We Dream Under The Same Sky can be seen as a manifesto for the opposite approach: a new façade system of organic photovoltaics and organic light-emitting diodes that tells the story of material development as a true collaboration between engineers, scientists, architects, and artists.”
With the realization of the new façade concept for the Seoul Biennale, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is further pushing the boundaries of materials technology into building and architectural applications, strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of performance materials.