While it may look like an abstract art installation, this white steel structure is actually a portable, prefab education pavilion that can spread its solar shading flaps one minute, and then transform into a shipping container the next to go where ever the wind may take it (okay, it might take a little more than wind to budge it but it is really light). Anderson Anderson Architecture conceptualized and built the pavilion, called the PGA Prairie Hopper, to be set up at various sporting and outdoor events to provide shade, two story views and refreshments, while at the same time showcasing innovative green technology to a wider audience. The fold-uppable module is also equipped with solar panels and wind turbines to provide all of its energy needs.
In addition to having the ability to go off the grid, the structure itself is constructed of high-recycled content steel and recycled content shade cloth. The floor of the Prairie Hopper is lined with modular, xeriscaped planting trays that house native prairie grasses, cacti and several hundred additional species that can thrive without regular irrigation.
The shade screens that line the sides of the pavilion were designed to variably articulate to provide optimized shading for the sports viewers within. Solar thermal collectors provide potable, sanitary hot water and building-scale wind turbines and high-efficiency photovoltaics give the Hopper the ability to be completely self-powered.
According to the architects, the project “was deployed 55 days from napkin-sketch, through detailed design, fabrication, assembly, and delivery” and “remote team collaboration was facilitated by a central BIM database and various social networking applications.” And if that’s not cool enough for you, they provided all of their professional services pro-bono in the interest of advancing environmental education and construction prefabrication technologies.