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Reef

Reef redefines the role of architectural envelope by capitalizing on emerging material technology to imbue space with behavioral qualities. In tandem with the Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Vitto Acconci/Steven Holl-desiged facade, Reef questions the negotiation between the public realms of urban space and the intimacy of the interior.

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs), a category of metals that change shape according to temperature, offer the possibility of efficient fluid movement without the mechanized motion of earlier technologies. Operating at a molecular level this motion parallels that of plants and lower level organisms, that are considered responsive but not conscious.

A field of sunflowers as they track the sun across the sky, or a reef covered in sea anemones, offer images of the types of responsive motion this technology affords. Reefs responsive membrane creates a diverse range of porous and dynamic enclosures capable of creating sophisticated, flexible responses to an existing program.

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