The almost invisible solar-powered SOL Dome is an ultra-light LED structure made from woven circles of composite fiber. Weighing only 88 pounds, the structure features a responsive lighting system driven by the level of carbon dioxide in the area. It was designed by multi-disciplinary agency Loop.pH for the ‘Fall in… Art & Sol Festival’ in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region, as part of an ongoing research program exploring data-responsive built environments.
The incredibly light structure forms an ever-changing landscape which is affected by environmental conditions. The dome is eight meters in diameter, four meters high and weighs less than one hundred pounds. It was constructed on site in just three days by a group of local volunteers.
SOL Dome combines scientific mechanisms for utilizing renewable energy with design and architecture and adapts to its environment like a living organism. In order to become animated and responsive, the structure features a circular matrix of solar powered LED floodlights connected to an onsite carbon dioxide sensor that makes them change color. Depending on the amount of carbon in the air, different fibers light up in a timed pattern, creating a kaleidoscope of colors.
The structure is inspired by molecular biology and the chemical bonds holding atoms together in a molecule. It embodies kinetic energy, with each fiber shaped into a circle to create a mechanism that allows it to recharge as a battery.
The SOL Dome will be on display from September 28 until Halloween. It will be a unique opportunity to check out this architectural mirage – the new step in biomimicry.