Keep your head in the clouds
Martin Professional is illuminating the architectural installation, Cloudscapes, at the 12th edition of the prestigious Architecture Biennale of Venice (La Biennale di Venezia). Created by German climate engineering firm Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects, the indoor cloud is being created in an 800sq m room in the Venetian Arsenal (Arsenale di Venezia) and illuminated using luminaires from Martin Professional’s architectural line.
Architecture Biennale is being directed by Kazuyo Sejima, 2010 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and a member of SANAA, one of the world’s leading offices of contemporary architecture. She also serves as curator of the International Architecture Exhibition.
This year’s Architecture Exhibition is titled ‘People Meet in Architecture’ and runs until 21 November at the Giardini and at the Arsenale, as well as various other venues in Venice. Biennale attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, providing a space for innovation in the arts, architecture and more. Cloudscapes is the central installation in one of the most prominent spaces of the Biennale.
Transsolar was selected by Sejima as the only engineering company in the Biennale and they proposed to create a microclimate in which a cloud can sustain itself. The aim is to provide a space where visitors can experience the characteristics of clouds on a personal level, from below, within and above. One of Transsolar’s CEOs, Matthias Schuler, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Technology in the Department of Architecture at Harvard University, teaches courses in sustainability and climate engineering. With offices in Stuttgart, Munich and New York, Transsolar works on national and international projects with architects like Jean Nouvel, Kazuyo Sejima, Frank O.Gehry, Steven Holl, Ben van Berkel, and Helmut Jahn.
Martin Professional, as the world’s leading dynamic lighting solutions provider with a complete line of colour temperature variable and fully dimmable architectural lighting products, has worked with Transsolar to illuminate The Cloud. Transsolar, as specialists in creating ecological, high-value environments, and Martin Professional have harnessed their own unique expertise to support the installation.
Besides their luminous appeal for the visitor, and exceptional quality of light, the Martin luminaires support issues related to climate engineering by allowing for varied and realistic daylight measurements. The Cloud is illuminated by Martin Extube linear LED luminaires and Martin Exterior 200 LED projectors. The dynamics of the lighting is controlled via a Martin Maxxyz lighting controller.
The artificial cloud is being produced by the visualization of the nearly 100% humidity in the cloud layer through a series of Martin Professional smoke machines (Jem ZR44 Hi-Mass and Magnum 1800), which create condensation seeds that render the cloud viable.
What we detect as a cloud are accumulated condensed water droplets (water vapour turns into water droplets and the cloud becomes visible). A floating cloud inside an enclosed environment (a cloudscape) can be accomplished by adding condensation seeds into a layer of air saturated with water vapour. In order to keep the cloud layer floating it is essential to have a dry and cooler layer with a higher density below and a dry and hot layer with a lower density above.