Kortrijk Xpo
15 & 16 May 2025

Features and seminars 2023

Friday 12 May 2023

16:00 - 17:00

Skins in Extreme Environments

Xavier De Kestelier – global Head of Design at Hassell

Xavier De Kestelier, together with his Design Innovation Team at Hassell, has been creating architectural solutions for some of the world's most extreme environments. These range from Swiss glaciers and refugee camps in Northern Uganda to the Moon and Mars. Each environment demands adaptive building skins to address diverse environmental factors.

In Uganda, lightweight roofs effectively cool community buildings, while on Swiss glaciers, 3D-printed plastic ribs gather snow for insulation. For lunar and Martian habitats, large shell structures protect astronauts from radiation. The team designs low-carbon building skins that efficiently regulate internal environments, minimizing energy consumption.

Xavier and his team exemplify innovative design, demonstrating how architecture can adapt to the unique challenges of extreme environments, while remaining sustainable and energy-conscious. Their work showcases the potential for human ingenuity and resilience in the face of adversity.



Seminar in English

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