Two SOM-designed projects were recognized in Architect Magazine's 2017 R+D Awards competition. Founded in 2007, the annual program celebrates work that is at the forefront of architectural technology. The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy demonstration project (AMIE 1.0) received top honors in the 2017 awards, and the concept for Vacuum-Insulated Glass Tubes received an Honorable Mention.
AMIE 1.0 is a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Highly energy efficient, the 3D-printed structure was designed to produce and store renewable power and to share energy wirelessly with a 3D-printed vehicle, which was developed by the DOE. In the award announcement, juror Erin Besler commented, “I think for the scale of the proposal, they’re able to have many different aspects in great detail," and referred to AMIE as "an utterly compelling submission.”
The Vacuum-Insulated Glass Tubes concept developed out of a design for a curved, glass facade for the Baccarat Hotel, one meant to emulate the crystal glassware company's shimmering aesthetic. When the custom-fabricated glass tubes were tested, the potential for both thermal insulation and solar collection first emerged. From there, the idea developed into an ongoing research project. In Architect Magazine's award announcement, SOM Design Partner Gary Haney describes the project's evolution at SOM.