environmental design - architectural research - material science - ecological analysis - parametric design - sustainability - planning - film photography - 

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render by Kangyi ShenPhoto synthetica

Open Space Solar Shade
Mannheim, Germany

Ellina Poltavtseva
Kangyi Shen

BUGA (Bundesgartenschau) is Germany’s largest garden show. BUGA 23 set a goal to be the most sustainable iteration of the festival yet and teamed up with LAGI (Land Art Generator Initiative) to issue an open call for designs of modular infrastructure which produce electricity while promoting the city’s conversion of a derelect army base into public green space. Our project uses the subject matter of the festival (plants) as the inspiration for the form, derived from function.
Many species of the genus Hostas can be found in Germany. The saddle-like shape of this plant’s foliage became the basis for how our design could simultaneously harvest both light and water, serving to both funnel water to the stem as well as track the sun’s path with its smooth, curved surface.

The surface is formed by a single rod around the perimeter, held in place by a PTFE membrane stretched across the top, and an ETFE membrane along the bottom. The PTFE provides greater tensile strength to hold the rod in compression, as well as shade for visitors that may desire it on hotter days. 
render by Kangyi Shen The ETFE’s translucency enables the form to emit diffuse light after dusk and lengthen the usable hours of the park. This light would be powered by a battery at the base which charges from solar panels during the day.
drawing by Kangyi Shen The unique double-curved shape of the structure demands the use of a flexible PV solar cells which are sewn to the PTFE and connected into an array.