When a Building’s Skin Ripples

FLARE is a pneumatic building facade system. The FLARE system consists of a number of tiltable metal flake bodies. An infinite array of flakes can be mounted on any building or wall surface. Each metal flake reflects the light. When the flake is tilted downwards by a computer controlled pneumatic piston, its face is shaded from the light and this way appears as a dark pixel. By reflecting ambient or direct sunlight the individual flakes act like pixels formed by natural light.

The system is controlled by a computer to form any kind of surface animation. Sensors inside and outside communicate the building’s activity directly to the system which acts as the building’s lateral line. FLARE turns the building facade into a penetrable membrane, breaking all conventions of static surfaces.

I love how it looks in motion but there’s something creepy about inanimate objects moving. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Designer: Christopher Bauder and Christian Perstl