pixel façade, a flexible biophilic façade system for the next generation of offices

architects typically create bespoke solutions to bespoke problems, the AEC industry is one of the few to take this approach to creating a product. oliver thomas and keyan rahimzadeh’s ‘pixel façade’ takes a progressive attitude to create an adaptive, scalable, repeatable building system that can be configured to create multiple solutions applicable to multiple building typologies whilst also creating variability in design. the driving concept for the design of the façade system is based on our instinctive desire for nature, also known as biophilia.

edge elevation
image © mengyi fan

shortlisted within the metals in construction magazine’s 2018 design challenge, the pixel façade system has been designed to merge two typically separate elements — the office environment with biophilic rich environments. the building system achieves this by enabling the tenant to create biophilic rich getaway spaces using a series of modular planters, shaders, furniture, and pop in/out glazing, allowing its occupants to break away from work and immerse themselves in an outdoor environment.

pixel elevation
image © mengyi fan

‘by 2030, 75% of the workforce will be made up of the millennial generation,’ explains the design team. ‘with the majority of the tech industry’s current workforce, being millennials we are already seeing the office environment adapt to a new generation of workers. companies are starting to build small, interactive workspaces to encourage individual productivity and virtual group meetings. the typical open plan office is evolving to incorporate small breakout spaces known as ‘huddle rooms’. millennials see flexible working arrangements as more conducive to productivity, collaboration, innovation, and engagement.’

open shaders
image © mengyi fan

this concept has driven the idea behind the team’s flexible modular system, enabling tenants to incorporate and modify breakout spaces into the work environment. the system allows the tenant a unique flexibility to configure the balance and layout of the spaces in order to suit the individual needs of their employees and reflect the company’s culture and brand. over time the configuration of the office can continue to be modified in order to adapt to the tenants changing needs as the company grows. pixel façade takes advantage of innovations in the construction industry such as generative design, BIM, prefabrication, and timber frame construction to create a more streamlined, economic and sustainable approach to the typical design and building process.

closed shaders
image © mengyi fan

breakaway balcony
image © mengyi fan

pixel facade kit of parts + Adaptability + Configuration

section details

plan details

design + build process

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: maria erman | designboom

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