Drape Wall

Drape Wall

Modular Performative Wall
2006

This full-scale wall prototype presents energy innovations through new approaches to cooling, heating, ventilating and lighting for an inexpensive house. Stacking high-strength, low-weight exterior bricks, which are held in place by interlocking interior bricks, assembles the wall quickly and inexpensively. A pattern of clear openings on the surface of individual bricks allows light into the house interior. Bricks can rotate to face the sun, reducing the need for electric lighting. Gaps between bricks open up the wall for natural ventilation, reducing cooling costs. Some portions of the wall can be used for storage, reducing the floor area needed for that function and saving costs and space. A quilt-like fabric on the interior surface of the wall makes use of innovative materials to create an interactive weather seal. Because of the flexible relationship between the hard outer shell and the soft inner fabric, the homeowner can control the interior environment in response to outside conditions, such as temperature, humidity, weather, light levels, and desired views.

The quilt is conceived as a sub-dermal layer for the house, and is created from multiple layers of materials. Some layers keep water out (the blue layer is waterproof nylon). Others provide insulation (trapped materials between dermal layers), and others provide a soft, acoustically absorptive surface that homeowners can customize with colors and patterns according to personal taste (white layer of industrial felt). The fabric incorporates waterproof zippers for opening and closing specific pockets of the wall. Some pockets allow breezes to come through the wall, facilitating ventilation, while other pockets keep air out but allow for light infiltration. Other pockets simply provide storage space, or access to the empty zone between the quilt and shell. Still others open up to outside views. The wall is continually in process. We are always looking for ways to improve Drape Wall. Smart and responsive materials, and the potential for interchangeable skins influence future iterations. 

Exhibited
Weisman Gallery, Minneapolis
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

Published
Fabric Architecture May/June, 2006
Design Culture (China) March, 2007
ID Magazine July/August, 2007
Architect August, 2008

Awards
Best in Category, Environments, 53rd Annual Awards Issue, ID Magazine, 2007
R+D Award, Architect Magazine, 2008

Drape House

Drape House

Draft House

Draft House