Fish Bowl Living

Smart GlassSmart Glass Dome

Project Title: Werner Sobek‘s House 129

Designers: Werner Sobek & The Lab For Lightweigth Structure University of Stuttgart

Project Description: “R129 is a prototype in development at the Laboratory at the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design at the University of Stuttgart. The skin will be coated with an electrochromic foil, which allows the entire envelope to be made opaque, either in sections or as a whole.” as described by Architectural Record.

Technical Critique: Anytime skins and coatings are mentioned, my ears perk up. Smart materials are going to be necessary in our future and this project presents new options for this concept. They coat this glass with electrochromic foil which the We Make Money Not Art Blog states is the “skin” of the building that consists of a transparent plastic material and the structural frame is fabricated from carbon box sections. To prevent radiation of heat into the interior (in summer) and to the exterior (in winter), an electrochromatic foil -which can be controlled electrically- allows the envelope to be darkened in sections or as a whole. The external surface of the envelope also carries solar cells that reduce light transmission by only 20% but supply a large part of the electrical energy demand of the building.” This is an interesting concept and the delicate simplicity of the thin dome surrounding this space are alluring, but the question is whether it is truly a livable space. I am a big advocate of environmentally friendly design and care deeply about the future of our planet, but I wonder if people will really be willing to live in a fish bowl. I am all for giving up comforts, but privacy isn’t first on my list. Esoteric arguments aside, the rendering technique is subtle, yet elegant. It is difficult to model shapes that peel away from the structure and they have done it well. If you are interested in learning this type of technique it is called projecting onto surfaces. Click here for a link to the tutorial.

images from Architectural Record by Werner Sobek‘s

by lauren taylor white

One Response Subscribe to comments


  1. Leroy

    fern@magicians.ultramodern” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!…

    Jul 30, 2014 @ 6:25 pm


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