Looking out over Barcelona's sunny seafront, the Endesa Pavilion Solar House 2.0, is an unusual structure composed of sharply-angled, layered roof lines topped with solar panels. Installed last year in the port area of Villa Olympica, the building's modular facade creatively maximizes solar absorption. Designed by the Insititute of Advanced Architecture for Catalonia (Iaac) with the support of energy company Endesa, the structure also uses "solar bricks," which not only insulate the interior from solar radiation, but also include technology to collect and store information about the building's energy usage.
The triangular sections optimize the efficiency of the solar panels, which vary in size and can be adjusted depending on the direction of the sun. Through this strategic system Iaac ensured that the photovoltaic panels capture the maximum amount of energy possible, while utilizing side panels and visor structures to provide passive protection for the building during the city’s hottest months.
Iaac constructed the building from wood in order to use its natural expanding properties and high thermal insulation. The firm used factory-produced modular sections in order to minimize waste and support further efficiency.
Amongst the throngs of cafes and bars that adorn the coastline, the stunning building looks more like a log cabin belonging to a Scandinavian woodland than an high-tech, energy-efficient test center. However, the structure is a valuable test-bed for informational grid technologies (which unfortunately remains closed to the public).
Images courtesy of Helen Morgan