In designing Neo Solar Power Corporation's headquarters, J. J. Pan & Partners, Architects & Planners (JJPP) drew inspiration from the most obvious place: the company's product. With its blue tint and checkerboard steel work, the gleaming glass facade imitates solar panels and instantly makes viewers think about transferring sunlight into renewable energy. The building is the latest addition to the Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan.
The contrasting angles of the exterior walls express ideas of undulation and transference and make the facade look like a stretched accordion. It is comprised of eight trapezoid units created with half-unit glass and aluminum curtain walls and finished with over 350 glass-cutting patterns.
The walls create floor-to-ceiling windows on every floor of the north-facing building, optimizing the use of natural light and encouraging indoor gardens. Movable vertical blinds complement the windows, allowing occupants to control the direction and amount of daylighting. To utilize the irregular interior spaces created by the windows, discussion rooms and lounging spots employ the alcoves.
The ground floor of the eight-story building boasts a high-ceilinged foyer, auditorium, and staff restaurant. The second to seventh floors are research spaces, and executive offices occupy the eighth floor. The 5-story plant on the south side is built with a damping diagonal bracing structure, and the heightened basement air raid shelter and garage are planned to meet the parking needs for phase two expansion in the future.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
Buildings like the Neo Solar Power headquarters with floor-to-ceiling windows allow for daylighting, saving a great deal (especially in office buildings where there are tons of lights) of energy that would be needed for artificial lighting.
Images © JJPP