African Design Magazine December 2015 - Page 36

ARCHITECTURE U I n the first phase, a long-stretched structure was built along the Pischeldorfer street, which can be reached via an access balcony with a unique irregular zig-zag geometric facade that integrates hundreds of photovoltaic elements. The 50-75m2 sized subsidized apartments feature up to 15m2 large balconies oriented to the courtyard. Part of the energy concept of the virtually self-sufficient project is the geothermal brine reservoir that stores excess solar energy from the photovoltaic system during sunny months. Solar geometry Photovoltaic systems have been neglected and could often still be found hidden on the roof not too long ago, before becoming an integral part of architecture. The solar design for Glanhof 1 developed by Architects Collective integrates the photovoltaic panels into the glass facade along the street making it an energy-efficient, and at the same time, resource-saving alternative to conventional fa├žade elements. They fulfill with their elegant appearance, the same functions, but create an additional benefit by making the building virtually energy autonomous. 36 africandesignmagazine.com