News - 17 December 2019

The Coolest White Paint Featured at State of Extremes Exhibit

Watch "The Coolest White" paint combat the urban heat island effect at The Design Museum Holon's Decennial Exhibition

The Design Museum Holon has unveiled a special site-specific installation by UNStudio with manufacturer Monopol Colors showcasing "The Coolest White" Paint, recently revealed for the first time in the exhibition State of Extremes, curated by Aric Chen with Maya Dvash, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon, and Azinta Plantenga.

The Installation

The installation visualizes the properties of The Coolest White: an ultra-durable paint with an industry leading Total Solar Reflectance Value that has been developed to reduce warming in metropolitan areas known as the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Emulating the density of city structures, this installation divides a two-meter-tall model of a city, coating one half with The Coolest White which protects buildings from excessive solar radiation. The other half is coated with a black paint. Situated outdoors, the installation warms and cools throughout the day. The installation implements a heat-sensing thermographic camera to allow visitors to see the difference in temperature between black building models, and ones coated in The Coolest White.

In miniature, the installation both mimics and visualizes the effect of The Coolest White, allowing visitors to better understand how buildings impact our experience of temperature within a city, as well as how we see it.

A Thermographic Camera captures the temperature difference between black building models, and ones coated in The Coolest White.

Time to Act

The dark-coloured, heat-retaining materials used to construct the buildings in our cities are one of the main causes of The Urban Heat Island Effect, as well as the lack of green spaces and exhaust from air-conditioning which also contributes to the effect. Buildings absorb solar radiation and store heat from the sun, which means they not only require large amounts of energy to cool, but that the absorbed heat is also released back into the surrounding urban environment. As a result of this effect, greater energy is required to cool their interiors, while more heat is released and trapped in the urban environment. As global warming exacerbates this problem, there is a pressing need to manage extreme heat in our cities.

By 2050, 68% of the world’s population are projected to live in cities - an increase of 2.5 billion people compared with today. Most of our cities are not prepared for these developments. For UNStudio, our agenda has never been clearer. As cities across the globe face urgent challenges linked to rising temperatures and growing populations, architects, urban planners and designers must act with urgency. Innovative urban initiatives must be saught out and cultivated in order to sustain liveable, future-proof cities across the globe.

Visit the Exhibit

The installation featuring The Coolest White by UNStudio and Monopol is now on view at Design Museum Holon until May 9th, 2020.


Design Museum Holon


December 12th, 2019 - May 9th, 2020


Get them here!