Stony Brook

Simons Center for Geometry & Physics at Stony Brook

Designed by the architects at Perkins Eastman, the new facility brings a world-class mathematics and physical sciences building to the Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. The building's most intriguing feature is the animated stainless steel Tessellate™ Kinetic Surface produced by Zahner in joint venture with ABI.

In 2008, Zahner began developing a series of products with world renowned kinetic artist and designer, Chuck Hoberman. Hoberman foresaw a future where kinetic surfaces could respond to environmental changes (such as temperature, moisture, and light) by opening or closing an aperture on the surface of the building itself. Today these systems are here: the new Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook features Tessellate™ the latest system from Zahner and the Adaptive Building Initative (ABI) in joint venture.

Several patterns designed by Hoberman Associates are featured on the interior of the new Stony Brook Facility, serving as both the building's artistic centerpiece as well as a functional shading system. The floor-to-ceiling metal surface includes four layers of perforated stainless steel.

The video above was shot in the Zahner shop prior to installation at the Simons Center in New York. A single small motor communicates with a computer, which dictates the speed and accelleration. The computer also processes any sensory data which can be used to generate responses to environmental stimuli such as temperature change.

Each of the motorized panels to revolve around one another on an engineered track defined by the designed components. The visual effect is like that of a flower, blossoming into a burst of patterns - hexagons, circles, squares and triangles. At one point in the cycle, the perforated patterns all are aligned, allowing the maximum open space. At the other end of the cycle, the pattern becomes an opaque mesh.

The kinetic surface spans 124 square meters and imbues the building with the functional capacity to dynamically change its opacity and sculpt the quality of light within.

Zahner and ABI worked together in joint venture to produce the eight panels for Stony Brook. ABI is itself a joint venture between Hoberman Associates and Buro Happold, who are working together as the Adaptive Building Initiative to introduce Intelligent Surfaces to architects and builders around the world. To learn more, contact us, or visit Adaptive Buildings.

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