INSTRUMENT for Building, Envelope, Assembly & Material research (BEAM)

  • Prize
    Winner in Architectural Design - Small Architecture
  • Company/Firm
    Bill Price, Brown Endowed Chair, School of Architecture, PVAMU
  • Lead Designer
    Bill Price
  • Architect
    WestEast Design Group (Architect+MEP) Timothy Baisdon, Matthew Agee, Behzad Farahmand
  • Interior Designer
    Bill Price with E. Ruiz, A. Jauregui, J. Morales, M. Lewis, D. Galo, F. Rueda, D. Muniz Jr. & SMT
  • Const. Company
    Spaw Glass
  • Photographer Credit
    Bill Price courtesy of BEAM - Program for Building, Envelope, Assembly, Material research
  • Location
    Prairie View, Texas - USA
  • Client
  • Project Date

Research into Building, Envelope, Assembly, and Materials
The INSTRUMENT is a modular outdoor test hut. Its purpose is to enable faculty and architecture students to do full-scale testing to assess building performance under realistic conditions with an overt interest in measuring and not simulating. In-situ testing boundary conditions are representative of real operating conditions components experience because testing is performed on full-scale structures. The INSTRUMENT incorporates modular design for versatile experimentation. The INSTRUMENT comprises two identical modules (11’x11’x11’) and two “wing walls” placed on opposite ends of the modules to cast shadows over the modules – representing adjacent buildings or objects. Test walls can be removed to experiment with different building envelopes, shading devices, and other building components. A 360-degree automated turntable varies the orientation of the test cells to assess the effects of outdoor environmental and solar exposure on a full-scale space under real climatic conditions. The INSTRUMENT is equipped with over 200 sensors per module that record detailed data and allow for the comparison of building envelope designs.

Bill Prices' career has spanned three decades, during which time he has practiced and produced work in eleven different countries. He has practiced professionally in Switzerland and the Netherlands, where he spent four years with OMA/Rem Koolhaas. There he acted as Research and Development Director and saw the Villa Bordeaux (Time Magazine called this house the most important private residence of the twentieth century") through to completion. Bill collaborated with Ai Weiwei in China, after which Ai Weiwei picked Bill's work to include in Phaidon's 10 x 10-3 Monograph.