Following a material investigation that juror Gordon Gill called “valuable and interesting,” the concept for Thermometric Façade then took shape—literally. The project uses the thermal and volume-expansion behavior of wax-based phase-change materials to create a modular, structural glass block that becomes clear or opaque depending on the ambient temperature. Stacked together, the blocks can create dynamic walls that react to programmatic or environmental conditions. “It turns something discreet and hidden into an element of design,” juror Martina Decker said.

Project Credits

Project Thermometric Façade
Architect Davidson Rafailidis
Primary Investigator Georg Rafailidis (Davidson Rafailidis; assistant professor, Buffalo School of Achitecture+Planning (B/a+p), University at Buffalo, the State University of New York)
Co-Investigator Stephanie Davidson (Davidson Rafailidis; clinical assistant professor, B/a+p, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York)
Structural Consultant Arne Künstler, Imagine Structure
Climate Consultant Roman Jakobiak