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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Air Tree – Madrid Pavilion Public Space – Expo 2010 Shanghai (CN)

February 2nd, 2011 by Susan Smith

Throughout history, World Exhibitions have shown the latest inventions in technology alongside the latest expressions of art. From this perspective, the Air Tree for ecosistema urbano client Fundación Madrid Global emerges as an experimental prototype of intervention in contemporary urban public space, capable of reactivating sites and creating the conditions to empower the use of the collective space. It is conceived as a technological urban furniture, a self-sufficient climatic comfort generator, that is being used not only as a breathing space but interactively as well.

Aerial view

Aerial view


Location: UBPA Expo 2010 Huayuangang Rd. – Shanghai

Project: ecosistema urbano

Project Team: Belinda Tato | Jose Luis Vallejo | Michael Moradiellos | Domenico di Siena | Ion Cuervas-Mons | Jaime Eizaguirre | Luisa Zancada | Benjamín Castro | Masatoshi Oka | Johannes Kettler | Javier de Paz | Julia Casado

Shanghai Design Direction: Jose Luis Vallejo | Ion Cuervas-Mons

Climatic Control / Simulation Engineering / Energy concept: AST ingeniería | Jose Luis Suarez | Roberto Suarez

Structural Enginneering: Tectum Ingeniería | Constantino Hurtado | Alejandra Albuerne

Wind generator engineering: AZ renovables | AST ingeniería + Zitrón renovables

Lighting consultant: Targetti Poulsen | Juan José García

Textile engineering: BAT spain | Javier Tejera | Marian Marco

Video installation: Tato Cabal | Telefónica Audiovisuales

Film maker: Jordi Joaquim

Models: Vicente solano | Guillermo Laborde

Client: Fundación Madrid Global | Ignacio Niño | chief architect: Manuel Rubio

Construction Company: SCG (Shanghai Construction Group) | Site engineer: Jia Tao

Interactive furniture manufacturer: Chunxu Shanghai | Cathy Chen

The Air Tree, with its different technical layers, supports multiple final configurations and a myriad of intermediate positions (opaque, translucent, transparent, bright, interactive, open, etc.). Different textiles for video projections allow an unlimited combination of scenarios adaptable to citizen needs. Its appearance can be transformed over the daily cycle, as well as monthly all through the year. By sensors it is connected in real-time with the climatic conditions of Shanghai, constantly adopting the optimal physical configuration and energy consumption to generate climatic comfort for the citizens.

Interior final view

Interior final view

Ventilation inside the Air Tree is provided through a big fan of 7.3 m diameter, suspended by a tensegrity structure in the center of the space, at a height of 11.5 m. Through a telescopic system the fan can be lowered several meters to be located closer to the people. The exact position and speed at each moment is determined according to the climatic conditions of the environment that are monitored continuously in the surroundings of the structure.

Elevator view

Elevator view

Air Tree Interior

Air Tree Interior

View of Air Tree with logo

View of Air Tree with logo

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