KVA MATx is working with 3M USA, Inc. on a design research project to design an architectural sun lighting system that captures sunlight and distributes it deep within a building interior, providing natural daylighting without a visible connection to an exterior ‘nature’. Sunlight levels naturally dim and brighten with the presence of clouds, and the design work explored this dynamic character and how exterior ‘weather’ can be experienced within an architecture interior.
Using a light engine in KVA’s workshops and scaled and full scale physical test models, KVA MATx worked with 3M’s proprietary, polymeric ‘mirror’ film which provides more than 99% luminous reflectivity and transports sunlight in both vertical and horizontal paths. KVA created a new design identity for the 3M sunlight system by changing the scale and material effect and radically expanding the formal and illumination potentials of the light transportation system. KVA MATx created flat-to-form design and manufacturing principles for a set of parametric curved segments designed in 3D model and ‘unfolded’ flat for affordable manufacturing with minimal material waste. Since 3M produces flat sheet and film products, the design enabled the company to maintain manufacturing control of the sunlight delivery system as an integral part of their business offering. US military administrative facilities and an international hospitality chain will be among the first to install the sunlight delivery system.

Date: 2011
Status: Prototype Completed
Client: 3M Architectural Markets
Location: St. Paul, MN
Design Team:

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