Rising temperatures, less cooling: what at first sounds like dystopia hides also a chance for new ideas. Since the sun is a perfect energy source, we can produce much more power due to more sunny days per year. We have to throw old principles overboard and start to see architecture combined with technical functionality as a new path of sustainability.
Air conditioning and cooling are becoming more and more essential. A solar chimney is a way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings by using the convection of air heated by passive solar energy and producing power at the same time. Fresh air is heated up below a transparent collector and moves upwards through a vertical chimney. A turbine produces power using the upward stream. To make sure the collector is not covered by shadow the actual building is elevated through a transparent structure. All rooms are ventilated through the vertical air stream. During the night and colder periods, underground buffer storage ensures functionality.
Located in an area with low surrounding buildings, the new silhouette creates a visionary symbolic power. The fact that the tower is actually a power plant but in the end just creates hot air changes the perception of the aesthetic potential of green energy.
As the air beneath the panel roof is quite hot, the temperature on the ground floor is rather stable and comparable to a greenhouse. An open, accessible garden with plants and recreational areas means additional benefit for the public. An additional spa area, a library, residential areas, as well as a rooftop bar appeal to different visitors.
The most important feature of the steel structure is the transparency and the minimum possible shading. The conical structure is exposed and defines the silhouette of the building. On the contrary, the facade with the transparent panels seems rather delicate. The double facade offers an accessible space and feels like a bird’s plumage but also has a thermal function for the inner structure.