Gallery: Japan Pavilion is a Solar Energy Generating ‘Purple Silkworm I...


Continuing our coverage of the Shanghai World Expo, we come to the Japan Pavilion, officially nicknamed the ‘Purple Silkworm Island’. Designboom is on the scene in Shanghai and has captured some great images of strange-looking purple bubble. The lightweight structure is composed of a tubular metal support system covered in a purple membrane with integrated solar cells. In addition to its solar power generation capabilities, the pavilion features natural ventilation and innovative energy-efficient cooling technologies.

The Japan Pavilion incorporates a number of sustainable building strategies to keep the building cool. An innovative Eco-Tube system was designed specifically for the structure to provide natural ventilation and bring in daylight. Outside air is drawn through ducts underneath the structure past a basin of collected rainwater, which cools the air. Then the air is naturally pulled up through clear tubes in the structure, which disperse cool air into the exhibition rooms. Water is misted around the outside of the building to provide more cooling, and the structure is lit up with LED lights.

The Purple Silkworm Island is covered in a light purple pillow membrane, which lets some light naturally filter into the interior of the building. 20-30 kW of solar cells have been integrated into the membrane to generate electricity, and the interior of the pavilion also features a variety of energy and water saving technologies. To top it off, Japan showed its love for robots with a humanoid bot performing on the main stage.

+ Japan Pavilion

Via Designboom

Photo credits: ©Designboom and ©Xinhuanet


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  1. manojbhu April 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Good initiative for sustainable development. We can not continue business as usual for long.
    CPWD India

  2. Stuttgart University's ... June 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    […] modules is a large energy tower, which helps move air, heating and cooling throughout the house. An active ventilation unit provides heat recovery, and phase-changing materials act as thermal mass to help store energy and […]

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