Skin, Transformation Fence Ground Station 14, Delft ©2013
Status: Open design competition, 2nd prize
Clients: TenneT
Design: Monolab, team: J.W. van Kuilenburg with with A. Oche Marquino, J. Roleček en K. Szóstkiewicz


…a soft skin of leaves visualizes the wind

TenneT design competition to beautify the fence around a ground station for a transformer unit of the new Dutch 380 KVoltage network.

SKIN covers the fence of the ground station with a layer of leaves.

The leaves are made of very thin, polished spring steel which translates the wind into intriguing moving patterns.

Each leave is laser cutted from spring steel sheet and mechanically bent into a shape that makes a connection through only one rivet. In a regular pattern each leave is mounted to a cross point in the grid of the fence.

The leaves are directed outward and respond to the wind. Together they make wave-like patterns. As such the wind is literally displayed. The shiny surface of the leaves will clearly show the synchronously movements through reflections of sky and surroundings.

To avoid too much wind pressure, the leaves are designed not to be blown flat against the fence. The maximum wind pressure of 20% of fence surface makes the friction of the wind along all leaves.

The 6000 leaves are cut from polished stainless spring steel sheets with laser cutting techniques. Through mechanical bending each leave will have its specific connnection. The stem of each leave will be manually fixed around a cross point in the fence with only one stainless steel rivet.

The stem is designed to take lateral forces, friction and torsion. The section of the stem spreads all deflection to avoid metal fatigue.