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The Allergic Facade ///


Facades are the first protective layer in contact with the exterior environment.  As weather events become more extreme and frequent, envelopes must become more active in protecting buildings. What if facades were designed to have specific reactions to different environmental stimulants?  How might a facade become actively resilient against the extremes of temperature, wind, flood, nuclear disaster, etc.  How would these reactions affect the appearance of the building?  What happens when a facade is allergic to environmental extremes?

Participants should consider facades that become activated by outside stimulants, rather than defend buildings passively. Submissions may be conceptual, technical, and/or artistic.






Bryce Hubertz  

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States


Laurens van Zuidam

Rotterdam, Netherlands


Zhan Shundi & Huang Sha Quzhou, China & New York City, United States



Zou Yuqing & Gao Shangxian 

Chongquing, China & Nanjing, China


Jie Zhang & Tyler Stevermer Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States



Magureanu Bucharest, Romania



Leonardo Dias

Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil



Brad Hubbard

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
B.Arch, Temple University
Firm: Ballinger


Sybil Idelkope

Portland, Maine, United States
M.Arch, University of Massachusetts
Firm: Richard Renner | Architects


Eric Salmon
Wilmington, Vermont, United States

M. Arch, Kansas State University
Firm: LineSync Architecture




21 Entries from 10 Countries

Bryce Hubertz

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States




"This entry animates a cyclical process of a buildings relationship with the environment. The exact relationship to the environment is not clear, however one can extrapolate an idea of seasonal shifts and relationships, with perhaps concepts of temperature, vegetation, and food supply in a surrounding region. Much of the success of this entry is hinged on the ability to show process, while also stimulating ideas in the mind of the viewer, which may or may not have been rooted in the initial intention. The graphic representation utilizes the competition format fairly well."

"I am most concerned with our relationship to nature in architecture. I imagine having breakfast next to a window, while a fawn is also having breakfast just outside, as beams of light filter to the interior of the building. This poetic entry responds to the brief with wit, imagination, delicacy, intimacy, and the utmost clarity."



"The idea of a facade being a chemical reaction made up of molecules, formulas and elixirs responds best to the competition brief I think. It is science and it is active. It is responsive, to the unique properties of climate in a particular place and during a particular time, and it transforms as those variables change. I like how the graphic is simple for a seemingly complex idea."

"This is an extreme facade: working, filtering, disposing, converting, producing, inside out! On the street, a parent points to an area on the facade, showing his children what happens when they flush the toilet, then points to the systems of filters that deliver potable water. The idea is fantastic; the text is unnecessary."

Laurens van Zuidam 

Rotterdam, Netherlands


Zhan Shundi & Huang Sha

Quzhou, China & New York City, United States




"This entry best responds to the facade's reaction to extreme conditions, which psychologically impacts the inhabitants. As human and natural disaster generally evoke negativity, this is a creative way to take dim circumstance and turn it into a positive energy. This facade evokes the strong childhood memory of playing indoors during strong thunderstorms."

"While sandstorms are no joke, this entry shows the potential for a building to actively filter in what is happening outside and incorporate it into the building's use and program, turning it into entertainment for the occupants. The graphic was a little confusing to me, but the idea was an interesting one, and I believe it responded to the brief better than many of the others."

Zou Yuqing & Gao Shangxian 

Chongquing, China & Nanjing, China




"An amusing visual and a great concept of making something positive from a terrible disaster. The idea of buildings absorbing energy and creating electricity between each other from the earthquake is clever and the graphic clearly articulates the idea."

Jie Zhang & Tyler Stevermer

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States




"The entry is well crafted and graphically compelling while utilizing the format of the competition in a sensible manner. The concept that is described in text is intriguing, and though the graphic compliments the ambiguity of the notion, we are left unclear exactly how such a concept would be executed. The entry decides to stand on a viewers mental image of skin, algae, and oxygen without giving any specifics as to how such a skin material is formulated or stimulated to create the processes described in the text."

Andrei-Florin Magureanu

Bucharest, Romania




"The entry represents a clear response to the brief by articulating a dynamic facade seemingly capable of reacting to varying levels of "allergy." The concept of a modulated facade with varying repetitive components is one that is very relevant in architectural designs and aspirations today. The entry lacks a true explanation of what such allergies would be present that the skin is reacting to, and therefore leaves the ability to judge the success of the skin's reactions inconclusive. The graphic content is mildly compelling but rather generic, and does not take advantage of the competitions unique format."

Leonardo Dias

Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Editor's Choice

Jasper Tuinema, studio Plots

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Elvan Çevirgen

Kocaeli, Turkey

Hyeonji Jang

London, United Kingdom

Romans Slinko

Chongqing, China

Luisa Lavezzari

Genoa, Italy

Mark Jason Warren

London, United Kingdom

Yu Linjun & Zhang Yafei

Beijing, China

Zack Saunders, ARCH[or]studio

Richmond, Virginia, United States

Bian Tian & Li Jing

Nanjing, China & Providence, United States

Chelsea Kilburn

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Evan Hursley

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Xinran Ma

New York, New York, United States

Gu Lingxi & Li Yutong

Chongqing, China & Milan, Italy










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