by Sean McCaughan
Previously only rendered as a vague but massive origami-like element, the Ribbon is now a fully detailed and intricately-engineered system for passive cooling and shading. Spanning across five city blocks now that CityCentre is extending to Brickell Ave., the mega-trellis is made of steel, fabric, and a continuous surface of glass that folds at precise angles and heights in order to best reflect the sun’s laser-like rays. Composed of a series of individual members that seem to work in a modular formation, the trellis reads like a louvered pattern that transitions rather seamlessly between dense, nearly solid regions and lighter, more transparent areas. The Ribbon is also designed to maximize summer trade winds and Biscayne Bay breezes that will allegedly maintain an airflow of “six to nine knots through outdoor public spaces.” Yeah, it’s measured in knots.
As if air-conditioning the outdoors during a sweltering Miami summer wasn’t enough of a feat, the structure will be equipped with multiple cisterns that can collect up to an estimated five million gallons of water annually. Water will be stored above ground to eliminate the need for pumping and additional electrical usage (yay sustainability!). Solar energy harvesting could be a thing, too, but would not be implemented initially.