Architect: Gensler & International Parking Design
Mural Artist: Kim West
Art Consultant: SPMD
Kinetic Consulting Artist: Ned Kahn
Façade Manufacturer & Engineer: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.
Fabrication Support Subcontractor: Noorda/Flynn
Finishing Partner: Linetec
Architectural Coatings: AkzoNobel & APV Engineered Coatings
Kinetic Acoustics: Thornton Acoustics & Vibrations
KINETICWALL creates a distinct face for a Global Tech Company’s parking structure
A global tech company was looking for a design solution and custom façade to wrap a multi-level parking structure on their Mountain View, CA campus. The goal was to create an impression, while expressing the digital artform and company’s tech background.
Many different design options were initially considered by the owner for this project. Among the top design choices proposed was the KINETICWALL dynamic façade.
The owner selected an artist to work with to create paintings, each representing a different season of Mountain View. This artwork was then digitized by SPMD and reorganized as a pixelated image with each kinetic element representing a different colored pixel.
During the design process, EXTECH fabricated 4 different study mock-ups, and 1 story mock-up of the KINETICWALL that was erected on site.
The KINETICWALL, is a wind-activated façade consisting of individual kinetic elements mounted on a ladder system to move freely in the wind.
According to Kevin Smith, Director of Product Application and Development at EXTECH,
“Kinetics express wind wave patterns as the elements move in sequence from light to dark as they catch light.”
The air flow of the KINETICWALL is an important factor in parking structures; it provides the necessary ventilation of emissions.
Engineering & Production
Engineering and planning a 77,500 SF exterior façade is no easy feat. EXTECH carefully coordinated the planning and details of the system with GC Clark Pacific and the facility owner. The “mural” KINETICWALL featured 8” x 8” individual kinetic elements. To achieve the pixelated mural effect, 35 unique colors were chosen to match the artist’s original vision. Each kinetic element was oriented and installed in a way to ensure it aligned with the artwork.
EXTECH’s engineering team mapped out where each element would go, color-coordinating and labeling sections to determine where an element would be assembled and ultimately installed.
In total, approximately 111,692 of the 8” x 8” kinetic elements were created.
EXTECH’s finishing partners, AkzoNobel and APV Engineered Coatings provided the architectural coatings for each “pixel” element.
Since a pin-mount KINETICWALL system was chosen, each element was mounted to pre-assembled “ladder and rung” panel sections over 22’ tall x 6’ 8” wide.
Towards the bottom of the wall up to 9 feet above grade, thicker gauge static kinetic elements are mounted on a custom rung system, together with stainless steel mesh, to deter climbing on the exterior and vandalism from the interior.
Delivery & Installation
To deliver this system, approximately 90 truckloads were delivered to the site in adherence to the installation schedule. EXTECH provided detailed as-built drawings for each elevation, on-site inspections, and assistance throughout the installation of the KINETICWALL.
In April of 2023, the facility opened to the public.
“This project was incredibly fun and collaborative, from inception through closeout. It is a wonderful example of the unique opportunities kinetics allow,” said Smith.