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Ulf Mejergren Architects designs The Shell with configurable roof structure San José, California
United States Architecture News - Sep 24, 2020 - 14:42 1977 views
Stockholm-based architecture practice Ulf Mejergren Architects (UMA) has designed The Shell, a unique public space that has all the ingredients to become an iconic destination for any city that wants to build civic pride in San José, California.
Conceived as a flexible design, the architects designed a configurable roof that can house various activities with a diversity of moods and context, from casual to grandiose.
Called The Shell, the structure is intended to be an urban complement to a park setting, the space consists of two components: a convertible roof structure that sits on top of a slope where the surrounding park smoothly drops down, creating a cultural gravity field and a place of expectations.
The roof is made of two pairs of rotating sections that can be overlapped, which means that the roof can be folded and positioned in many different ways.
The roof has integrated white solar panels on the outside and a matte chrome layer on the inside that will give a subtle reflection of the events that will take place on the slope. The flexibility of the roof caters to a variety of configurations which gives the space under it a diversity of moods and context.
The Shell can be a highly immersive and contemplative space when the roof is a fully extended half-sphere, with only a crescent of light touching the grass.
It can just as easily host an intimate outdoor concert when the roof becomes a backdrop, or act as a large parasol for a temporary playground with slides that cover parts of the slope. The slope itself is a bit more stretched out than the roof, which means that even if the roof is fully down, there will still be plenty of room between the ground and the roof structure which will make for an impressive entrance.
The space can be both grandiose and casual depending on the occasion, and will be the host for many different kinds of memories for both the local community as well as for tourists.
It will be a great place to have a picnic with your friends, but also a great location for having a sublime art experience.
The roof structure functions a bit like large visors that can rotate around its own axis.
"Each part is attached to a sturdy foundation acting like a huge hinge bracket on each side of the roof sections," said the architects.
"To invoke net-zero energy, all power that is needed to rotate the roof is taken from the energy that is harvested from the photovoltaic cells that are integrated in the roof."
"Since the roof is able to rotate and form different shapes, it is also possible from a distance to see what kind of event is taking place at the moment," the studio added.
Image © Ethan Murrow
Image © Ethan Murrow
The interior drawing and the sectional perspective is made by the renowned american artist Ethan Murrow.
All images courtesy of Ulf Mejergren Architects unless otherwise stated.
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