The "Energy Arch" (Energieboog) in the region of Tienen, Belgium, is the headquarters of Photovoltech, one of the most important producers of multi-crystalline silicon solar cells in Europe. AST77 designed the iconic building, which produces a whopping 50,000 KWh/year thanks to its powerful curvy facade made from hundreds of photovoltaic cells.
Built back in 2007, Photovoltech’s headquarters has become an icon for innovation within the Flemish city of Tienen. The sculptural building features an energy-generating arch on its front that is decked out with 280 photovoltaic panels. The arch was made with engeneeing precision and attention to detail, taking into account strong winds and soil characteristics, while also taking full advantage of the sun’s power.
The arch uses a segment of an ellipse to support the photovoltaic panels, which rest on galvanized metallic columns on concrete piles that are anchored to the ground. As well as producing 50,000 KWh/year, the building’s curvy facade reflects Belgium’s changing sky. The “Energy Arch” consitutes the company’s first electrical photovoltaic unit, and it was built on their own business estate.
Photos by Separate Reality – Marc van Heel – Peter Van Impe