By treating the extreme conditions of the California Mountains site as the means for formal and conceptual evolution of the project, Ecoscape integrates nature and architecture into a responsive system. The building’s skin is constituted of photovoltaic cells. Its surface geometry maximizes solar exposure by responding to a wide range of environmental parameters. These parameters are integrated to an algorithm that transforms and optimizes the surface geometry. Considering the requirement to design a project that would be self-sustainable, the maximized skin offers an important increase of energy production.
Customized according to the principles of discreet geometrical systems, the structure is a contemporary system led by a technological convergence of properties that generates its own natural paradigm. Its hypothesis seeks a modality that would engender architecture as nature by the use of cladding that generates both internal climatic and external architectural conditions such as skin and landscape. The structure does not only concentrate on the performance of the architectural entity as a matter of climatic conditions, but asks to treat the environment as an inclusive situation in which climate, surface and landscape are integrated to propose the evolution of events.
The building utilizes the solar energy for the creation of electricity as well as passive heating. The areas of the roof that distort to the optimal efficient angle in relation to the sun are covered with building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) surface. BIPV is a system that sandwiches photovoltaic cells between two layers of glass, creating a building enclosure system where the wall or roof is the photovoltaic surface reducing the redundancy of the traditionally separated systems. In between the BIPV, the roof will be clad with Texlon Foil Systems. The foil is transparent and has high durable features, in addition to its lightweight or insulating properties. It is an intelligent and dynamic system that has the capability to adjust its shading, thermal, and aesthetic characteristics as the sun moves across the sky, responding to specific program and climatic requirements.
Natural ventilation will be utilized for cooling in the summer months. The width of the building in the north south direction allows for easy cross ventilation from low operable windows for air intake and high windows for exhaust, cooling the building during the day and if needed at night.
To commemorate the 2013 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo published a collector’s edition of its highly acclaimed book “eVolo Skyscrapers”. The book is a two-volume, 1300-page set with the best 300 projects received during the last years. Only 150 copies are available worldwide.