It’s a tent, it’s a tunnel, and it funnels the year-round cool Shamal wind.
We’ve been so enthralled with the Land Art Generator Initiative and the various designs that they have made available to the public, that we just had to share another with our readers. We’ve covered the solar thermal music designs that are bound to warm up your music life, as well as the windstalks that waver in the wind to generate electricity.
Yesterday, we wrote about an art installation that also produces electricity and encourages viewers to interact with the incessant change that is nature. A similar concept, the Solaris solar canopy also toes the line between art and function, only Hadrian Predock and John Frane aim to offer “an antidote and refuge to the frenetic future-scape internationalism of the rapidly developing Arabian coast.”
Adapt to the wind
Although their project layout is not as well articulated as the s:flow project we described yesterday, that might have to do with the project’s multiple, ambitious facets.
Based on the Bedouin tent, which is made of goat hair and designed to adjust to the elements, Predock, Frane and their design team strove to come up with a concept that would be similarly adaptable.
Theirs is a tunnel of sorts, sheltered with a flexible wave or canopy of super duper, Cool Earth solar cells that produce 300-400 times as much energy as a conventional cell, according to the design specs.
Shamal vs. Sharqi
The tunnel connecting Masdar City with Rayed University is composed inside of geometric, undulating, artificial dunes and small pools of shallow water. The water is there to work in tandem with the year-round Shamal wind that is directed through the project’s Northwestern side to drift through and cool the interior. The same design blocks the hotter, more humid summer wind called Sharqi.
On the exterior, the canopy is pitched to point at the North star. This acts as a sort of compass in an otherwise featureless landscape, where a sense of direction is difficult to achieve; the flexible sheet of solar cells propped up by lightweight, recycled mast and cable system, is also angled to shut out the hot summer sun while allowing the better behaved winter sun to enter. And finally, the solar balloons actually track the angle of the sun “like a field of sunflowers” to optimize energy output.
Who doesn’t want a sensate realm?
All of this combines to create the following:
… a sensate realm where one is allowed to simply feel and experience the slowness and power of the desert. In this regard, the field of modules acts as a surrogate reflective sky with heightened adjustments toward specific views. It also creates a pattern of dappled light that emanates from the environmentally induced responses. The underside of the solar modules are a reflective black sheen that mirrors the surface of the patterned ground matrix of water and sand, drawing heat up and out of the interior volume.
If the prospectus is a bit convoluted, the images at least speak for themselves, and though the project was not listed among the finalists, they were given a third place mention by the jury. In such a hot, and often raw natural environment, this land art installation is nonetheless certain to cool and inspire greener living at the same time.
More groovy architectural and design projects: