Gallery: Occidental College and Lettuce Office Create an Electrifying U...


Occidental College recently powered up an urban hillside solar array that combines science, engineering, urban design and art. Occidental faculty collaborated with the environment design and research firm, Lettuce Office, to create a subtle shifting, rotating design that challenges the design of normal, utilitarian solar arrays. Two-thirds of the array’s 4,886 panels are installed on a southwest-facing campus hillside. With panels mounted just 2-3 feet above the ground, the low-profile array hugs the topography of the slope in a fluid form based on a mathematical expression known as a hysteresis loop. “[This] project represents a new paradigm for arrays as architectural objects that, like buildings, are expected to contribute aesthetically to their environment,” says Occidental President Jonathan Veitch.

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