Tropism is the moving of an organism in response to an environmental stimulus.
The Kansas Plains has strong, dynamically changing weather systems. With the massive building size requirements, the tower would be standing alone among a medium-rise urban area. Rather than letting the skin act as a defensive measure, we realized it could be used to harness the power of the plains weather.
The exterior of the building became a double-skin; the inner layer a rain barrier and the outer a dynamic functional layer. This functional layer would adapt through small movements of the circular glass panels that covered the surface to meet one of four positions. The panels could tip forward to collect rain, hinge sideways to direct wind for cooling, track the sun to collect solar energy, or stay vertical as a standard double skin. Each of these panels would have its own processor, telling the panel which position is optimal for the buildings total energy reduction.
This was a semester long school project with teammates Adam King and Michele Balducci. The project required us to design an innovative 500,000 ft² mixed-use tower in the middle of Kansas City, MO.