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Enric Ruiz Geli Cloud 9

What identity do you give a building with the role of digital technology hub in a new science and technology district? Cloud 9’s Media-TIC in the emerging 22@Barcelona, fortunately cannot be seen solely as an aesthetic statement. With its distributed sensor programme, it ‘performs’ its own climate control, with digital technology enabling an ETFE (ethylene tetrafluroethylene) skin - an energy-saving dynamic interface configured as a mosaic of milky white cushions over the 40x40 m facades in two different formats - according to the orientation. One façade has a single vertical cushioned panel containing nitrogen and oil to filter solar radiation, while the entrance side on C/Sancho d’Avila, has triangular inflatable cushions in a net around the structure that gleam in the sunshine. Their three air chambers work like a diaphragm, adjusting as sensors evaluate heat and the angle of the sun to shade and provide thermal insulation. Cloud 9’s advanced ecological agenda extends to every aspect of this Janus-faced building. Its light steel frame, 80% of which is suspended, designed in collaboration with structural engineers Boma and realised with CNC machines, is coated with pale green Aero Chemical paint. At night it looks bio-luminous at night without the need for further lighting, especially on the main façade overlooking Roc Boronat. With the cushions of its transparent, skeletal structure like atoms merging to create information, Media-TIC beat all contenders to win the European Award for Streel Structures (previous winner: Rogers Stirk Harbour’s Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas Airport). Inside its clear, open spaces have variety of configurations. At ground level is a pillarless environment with a media gallery adjoining a U-shaped patio. A planted, accessible roof, four floors of rental offices for ICT firms, and three floors of small business spaces for starter firms sit above a 300 seater hall and Internet education spaces (first floor), and 2 parking levels...

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