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It’s green everything. Its design, building materials, and even paint color.
And it’s almost a net-zero building, meaning it relies on itself for its heating, cooling, and electricity needs.
I finally got to visit the Media-TIC building during the 48h Open House Barcelona event. Its strange / modern / beehive / cubic design caught my attention while driving by one day.
Builit in 2009, Media-TIC is a meeting point for businesses and institutions in the Information and Communication Technology sector. And its location is fittingly in the 22@ district, the digital technology hub, or the innovation district of Barcelona.
The netlike surface of the facade symbolizes links and connectivity and the structure of information design.
And every facade is different. The sun-facing side is a network of triangles with several layers. The top layer is made of….PLASTIC!
But wait, this plastic material is called EFTE (ethylene tetrafluroethylene), which is an energy-saving “skin”. They are “pillows” that inflate or deflate, depending on the weather.
Each of the “pillows” have their own sensors and are controlled separately. They measure the temperature, heat, and the sun’s angle to control the climate of the building’s interior.
EFTE is extremely strong and transparent. It both shades (during hot weather) and insulates during cold weather. And it has a sun-filtering factor of .20. It’s also anti-adherent, so cleaning isn’t really necessary.
The sensors work in real-time with air chambers to make it inflate or deflate.
The Media-TIC building was built from the top down instead of bottom up like almost all buildings. 80% is suspended from the framework at the top. That means no pillars are needed to support it.
The ubiquitous fluorescent green color is repeated throughout the building. Even at night, it’s a glowing green cube because of the paint that “charges” during the day.
Media-TIC has also been called “the digital Pedrera”, drawing parallels from Gaudí’s La Pedrera, a structure imitating nature. Architect Enric Ruiz-Gelí says that he wanted to use the productive qualities of nature to create a sustainable building.
How’s that for green architecture?
Have you seen this building? Do you think it’s beautiful?
California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).
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