Generation Kingspan 2012

Honorable Mention Winner

Competition Brief

Kingspan® is a global manufacturer of insulated metal panels (IMPs) and other innovative building products, whose growth is leading the way to the future of the building industry. Generation Kingspan™ (Gen K) student participants will help Kingspan® look to the future by submitting an original design concept for a potential, new Kingspan® office and manufacturing facility in North America. Participants will compete for prizes by submitting their best, most innovative designs for this facility with the following criterion in mind:

  1. Design Concept
  2. Energy Efficiency
  3. Overall Sustainability

Submitted Images:



Submittal Response

Imagine a future where advanced technology was not simply beautiful but ubiquitous;
so unrecognizable that it blended seamlessly within our everyday lives; so sustainable that
it improved both the spaces in which they defined and the lives of its occupants it served.
Polymorphic 2.0 is the future that we all crave and desire while setting the highest standards
in building construction and design. Exemplifying the most leading edge technologies, its sole
purpose is to advance the lives of its users while achieving net zero carbon emissions. Nestled
in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon, the project takes advantage of both the climate and
natural surroundings to achieve its highest performance. Using environmentally sound principles
and maximizing LEED credits, the new vision for Kingspan benefits both the city and its dwellers
while improving community. By setting the standards high in both building performance and
design, Kingspan will embody the best practices for future development.

There are two key elements that define the new headquarters and factory; a tower and a
bridge. The tower, as the new location for the Kingspan headquarters, is strategically designed
as a tall narrow sliver that has minimal impact to the park below yet maintaining a high density
ratio. By making the tower thin, there is limited disruption to the view of downtown Portland’s
skyline beyond. The flexibility in the size and shape of the Kingspan Insulated Metal Panel
was a primary driving force in the final design for Polymorphic 2.0. Two different sized panels
were used in the final construction of the tower; 2’x8’ and 1’x4’. The modularity of these panels
allowed for a shifting in the facades to create openings where natural day lighting is reflected
indirectly into the interior spaces. To fully optimize the use of the fog harvesters on the tower,
two folds were created on the North facing façade at 2.65 and 3.42 degree angles where the
cool arid currents are at their greatest. The implementation of fog catchers also acts as a shade
barrier in the hot summer months as they are strategically offset from the north and south facing
glazing systems.

Transitioning from tower to bridge, a moment is created between private and public
spaces. The projected bridge over the Willamette River uses a hybrid integration of manmade
products and natural growth. As vegetation proliferates in this climate setting, there is an
encouragement for plant life to take control. This not only acts as a natural insulator for the
factory located below but as a living building system exchanging carbon emissions for oxygen.
Kingspan Insulated Panels were also integrated on the bridge surface. Repurposing this product
to be used in this manner allows for an individual to experience the panels in a novel way. A
seamless transition between the park and bridge encourages visitors to walk around and atop
the structure, and witness the production of panels.

Portland regularly undergoes months of rain and cloudy skies throughout the year. This
introduced both obstacles and opportunities to reaching net zero carbon emissions. Situating
the factory over a flowing river facilitated the use of relatively new technologies of harvesting
energy through hydropower in slow currents. These devices are placed directly below the bridge
to generate power from the moving current. A kink was created in the bridges design to help
maximize the greatest amount of flow to each hydropower unit. To help maximize the production
of power for Polymorphic 2.0, wind turbines are also integrated along the bridge above where
unobstructed wind power funnels along the river.

Locating Kingspan’s office and manufacturing facility within an already sustainable city
like Portland, Oregon, presents both challenge and fortuity. Maximizing the building’s efficiency
by using LEED as a benchmark and through the incorporation of products like insulated metal
panels and renewable energies, it is possible to elevate the standards of building construction
and design. Integrating new and upcoming technologies into our buildings when it matters most,
will set new trends in the way we design with minimal impact to our surroundings.


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