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Parasol

The invention of the parasol goes back at least 2,000 years in Chinese history. Traditionally they were made of silk or paper treated with wax or lacquer, and often in bright colors. The imperial family was allowed to use red and yellow, while the ordinary people used blue. Parasols and umbrellas were items of social status as well as providing practical protection from the sun and elements.

Idea

To create a dynamic and organic open structure in the park for resting and socializing, using the motif of the parasol. Constructed of repeating tree like structures to provide protection from sun and rain. Integrated into the canopy of each module are colored photovoltaic elements to provide in a very visible manner clean energy production. The varying colored palette of the roof elements recalls traditional Chinese sun umbrellas and is in reference to the fields of wildflowers of the nearby Naian Flower Farm. The emotive power of the warm color palette is intended to enhance the users well being.

Design Process

The design process uses as an organizational principle the rigorous use of structurally strong triangular units to create a roof canopy based on hexagon elements; columns are created using triangular shapes for dimensional stability, the result is then intuitively edited and manipulated to create an organic plan and three-dimensional structure.

Technology + Energy Production

Clearly integrated are the environmental design elements of colored photovoltaic panels. Similar to plant photosynthesis, sunlight is transformed into electrical energy via organic transparent colored solar cells; they are indifferent to the angle of incidence of light. The colored cells alternate with black cells for 45% transparency with sun shading creating a dynamic atmosphere.

Water Harvesting

The entire roof area is used to collect rainwater; gutters at the perimeter of each triangular element are drained via internal pipes into a subterranean storm water collection system.

Construction

The roof consists of stainless-steel triangular elements, which are grouped together to form hexagons as the primary organizational unit. The roof rests on a series of three-dimensional steel triangular columns clad in polished aluminum panels providing both load bearing support and lateral stability. All stainless-steel and aluminum parts are polished to create reflective surfaces that enhance the effect created by sunlight passing through the transparent solar cells of the roof elements.

Flexibility

System can be assembled in nearly endless configurations. For various pavilion structures, electrical vehicle parking/charging stations, as the roofing component for buildings, bus stops, kiosks, washrooms, shaded carparks, outdoor markets, etc.

Competition 2017, Suqian, China.