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Where Art Meets Science: The Novartis Pavill Opens in Basel, Switzerland

The Novartis Pavillon designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi has opened in Basel, Switzerland. The organic photovoltaics global leader ASCA, an ARMOR group company, functionally designed and produced more than 10,000 diamond- and triangle-shaped solar modules with ten different sizes and laminated them into polycarbonate. As they can take any shape and size, the modules could be integrated in the façade that follows the curves of the dome-shaped building.

A zero-energy media façade

Thousands of LEDs are embedded in the façade facing both outwards and in the direction of the metal shell beneath. The light reflects from the shell and shimmers outwards through the transparent modules, creating a visually multi-layered membrane. Thanks to bi-directional solar inverters that were especially developed for this project, the modules power the LEDs that display digital art animations and inject surplus energy into the grid.

Extremely light-sensitive, ASCA® modules generate energy from light coming from all directions and even in low light conditions, allowing solar energy to be used on façades, balustrades, skylights and shading systems, regardless of their form or material. On top of design and production, ASCA takes responsibility for integrating the architectural and technical design of the printed solar cells. The aesthetical low-carbon energy solutions are based on 100 percent recoverable organic materials, which increases the sustainability of architecture.

Powering building envelopes

“Thanks to our building integrated photovoltaic solutions, we reinvent architecture and provide a key solution for more energy efficient constructions,” ASCA´s Senior Vice President Business Development & Project Management Hermann Issa explains. “This project is a milestone: It shows that the integration of renewable energies into the building envelope is possible without any compromises on the architectural design. With this project, we are shaping the photovoltaic façade of the future.”

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