There are many excellent teams competing at this year's Solar Decathlon in Europe, but the team behind the curvy Astonyshine home - Arts et Métiers ParisTech - has already distinguished itself. Using freestone as the main material for their solar-powered home not only improves the project's energetic efficiency and performance, but also lends a classical aspect to the otherwise modern prefabricated design.
Of the numerous projects we have already reviewed ahead of the Solar Decathlon’s official opening next week, the Astonyshine has been the easiest to navigate so far. Their website is super clear and direct, their photographs are easy to access and clearly document what the Italian/French team has been getting up to, and their concept is direct and simple.
Striving for sustainability, powerful aesthetics, energy efficiency and high hydro and thermal performance, the team has used freestone as the main material (something that we haven’t seen another team do yet). They have also combined photovoltaic and solar-thermal power in order to drive down costs, and explored a variety of morphologic and technologic concepts that would allow them to control temperature and natural ventilation. They’re in Madrid now, working hard to put the pieces of their attractive home back together again.