OK SOLAR is a hands-on experiment on activating urban spaces through the use of solar energy, which at the same time adds an aesthetic architectural dimension to the space.
Together with students from the University of Vienna, an installation of 36 used solar panels was realised on Oskar Kokoschka Square as part of the project RETHINKING THE ELEMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE.
The installation, which delivers 10KW at its peak, consists of 36 reused solar panels and makes the energy contained in the sun tangible by feeding the generated electricity into the university’s power grid via a backward rotating electricity meter.
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Based on the understanding that our built environment is largely composed of standardised building elements designed by engineers or designers over the last decades or even centuries (cf. Rem Kohlhaas, Venice Biennale 2014), the INDUSTRIAL DESIGN class at the Angewandte is looking into the question of what our utopias of sustainable living and working in the future might look like if we conceive them from the elements of architecture. Wouldn’t the elements of architecture have to be fundamentally rethought, wouldn’t at least some of these elements have to be completely reinvented so that, once transformed into buildings, they give a chance to the hopes we hold for the future?
“With the Paris Agreement, the specifications for architecture are changing fundamentally. What will our utopias of sustainable living and working in the future look like if we rethink them from the elements of architecture?”
Prof. Stefan Diez, Project briefing Feb. 2022
The construction sector is responsible for over one third of global energy consumption and over one third of global waste. The European Commission with the „Green Deal“ proposes that as of 2030, all new buildings must be zero-emission. This means that buildings must consume little energy, be powered by renewables as far as possible, emit no on-site carbon emissions from fossil fuels and must indicate their global warming potential based on their whole-life cycle emissions on their Energy Performance Certificate.
Thanks to the students team: Flora Sommer, Felix Eselböck, Julian Paula, Oskar Keller, Paul Canfora, Wilhelm Berbig, Johanna Schloßer, Emil Leckert.
And my team in Vienna: Christian Steiner, Christian Ruschitzka, Christoph von Berg, Jakob Illera, Madeleine Wieser, Stefan Diez