Coolest White

The research and architecture office UNStudio, in collaboration with the manufacturer Monopol Colors introduced, in December 2019, Coolest White – an installation, a special object, designed for the “State of Extremes” exhibition at the Holon Design Museum, curated by Aric Chen and Maya Dvash, together with Azinta Plantenga.

Coolest White is an innovative and highly resistant paint created to protect urban structures from excessive solar radiation and to reduce the “urban heat island” effect.

Emulating the density of the structures of the contemporary city, the installation includes buildings and skyscrapers represented in black and white, partially painted in Coolest White and partially covered in regular black paint.

The installation uses a thermal imaging camera in order to allow visitors to see the difference in temperature and observe the Coolest White effect.

The Coolest White, thermal-screen. Courtesy of UNStudio and Monopol Colors
The Coolest White, thermal-screen. Courtesy of UNStudio and Monopol Colors

One of the main causes of the “urban heat island” effect is the retention of heat in built environments, which makes cities significantly warmer than their surrounding areas.

The lack of green spaces and the improper evacuation of conditioned air also contribute to the superheating effect. Since buildings absorb solar radiation and stock heat from the sun, much more energy is needed in order to cool the interiors, while more heat is released and remains trapped, somewhat captive, in the urban environment.

Coolest White is an ultra-resistant paint based on fluoropolymer technology that protects urban buildings and structures from excessive solar radiation, thus slowing the “urban heat island” effect.

Global warming causes extreme effects and determines drastic climate change leading to the melting of the ice caps, floods and fires that severely affect the planet.

The Coolest White is proof of the way in which architecture and design act as mediating and healing forces. Architects, scientists and engineers provide answers to current issues in the shape of new, innovative products that have the ability to save the planet.

The Coolest White installation, designed by UNStudio și Monopol, is on display at the Holon Design Museum until 9 May 2020.