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Architects design extravagant portable EVs solar-charging pavilion

Tue, 23 Jul 2013

Architects Synthetic Design + Architecture has designed a portable, solar-charging pavilion for electric vehicles using integrated photovoltaic cells.

A beautiful, flowing form made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) mesh fabric incorporating the photovoltaic panels, allowing the pavilion to act as a charger. Designed to combine structure, form and performance, carbon rods are twisted into curves by the digitally-designed mesh contours.

SDA principal and founder Alvin Huang said, "It was important that it be easy deploy, break down, and move around. What is truly remarkable about the design is that once assembled it looks like one continuous smooth surface without the usual expression of components."

SDA's method was to use the V60's energy efficient and sustainable design as the basis to redesign a traditional trade show pavilion.

Huang said, "This competition presented us with a unique challenge as architects. It addressed issues we are constantly working on and offered the potential to address sustainability as something much broader that can also encompass issues of identity, contemporary culture, materiality, permanence, and personal mobility."

SDA won Volvo's ‘Switch to Pure Volvo' international design pavilion competition, organized by international architecture magazine ‘The Plan', which asked participants to design a deployable pavilion to display and charge Volvo's new electric hybrid V60 at open-air events.

According to the judges, SDA's solution was the most original out of over 150 global submissions. Judges said the design embodied "visual impact", "high quality" and "the advancement of technology through form, materials, and functionality."

The project is currently in development and will open in Rome, Italy, on 15 September.

By Rufus Thompson