Taiwan’s new solar panel ‘Sun Rock’ will deliver 1 Million kWh per year


MVRDV reveals a first look at its ‘sun rock’ project in taiwan, an environmentally conscious and design-minded power supply building. the monolithic, solar panel-clad structure functions as an operations facility and contains offices, a maintenance workshop, storage spaces, and a public gallery for taiwan’s government-owned power company taipower.

The project is proposed in anticipation of taiwan’s planned transition to green energy. the features of the sun rock building, from its shape to its façade, are focused upon generating solar energy as efficiently as possible. the building therefore acts as a statement of intention, a ‘manifesto in a building,’ taipower’s expression of its goals to the public.


visualizations by antonio coco, pavlos ventouris, jaroslaw jeda, emanuele fortunati | © MVRDV



The team at MVRDV (see more here) sites its sun rock at taiwan’s changhua coastal industrial park, near taichung. the building functions mainly as a storage and maintenance space for sustainable energy equipment. the site for the new taipower (see more here) facility receives a significant amount of solar exposure throughout the year, and so the rounded shape of sun rock is designed to maximize how much of that sunlight can be harnessed for energy.

On its southern side, the building slopes gently downwards, creating a large surface area that directly faces the sun during the middle of the day. at the northern end, the domed shape maximizes the area of the building exposed to the sun in the mornings and evenings.


the rounded shape of sun rock is designed to maximize how much sunlight can be harnessed for energy



With its PV-clad façade, MVRDV’s sun rock maximizes the solar potential with a series of pleats. these pleats support the photovoltaic panels, mixed in strategically placed windows, on their upper surface. the angle of these pleats is adjusted on all parts of the façade to maximise the energy-generating potential of the solar panels. as a result of these measures, the building can support at least 4,000 square meters of PV panels that would generate nearly 1 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy per year — an amount of energy equivalent to burning 85 tonnes of crude oil — and making the building completely self-sufficient.

The team is still considering alternative design options that would add an even larger area of PV panels, with calculations showing the building could even generate up to 1.7 million kwh annually to contribute energy to the grid.


the PV panels are expected to generate nearly 1 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy per year


MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas comments: ‘of course, we aim to make all of our projects as sustainable as possible. yet we see that projects can go beyond just being sustainable in themselves. this project has unique and fascinating potential. the user is an energy company, which has allowed us to do more than usual.


we cladded the entire façade with photovoltaics, maximising the energy gains to make it not only self-sustainable, for its own usage, but also allowing the building to become a tool of energy production, exporting electricity to the rest of the grid. this is achieved through a maximally efficient positioning of the panels. as a result, our design is completely data-driven. it’s always fun to see the results when you let analysis be the determining part of the design.’


a soaring atrium with real-time displays show the amount of renewable energy taipower generates



At the heart of the sun rock is the data room, a soaring atrium with real-time displays of data about taipower’s operations and the amount of renewable energy the company generates. on the first floor, a gallery space provides a view onto the maintenance workshop, allowing the public an up-close look at the machines that make sustainable energy possible, from solar panels to massive wind turbine blades. a further gallery for exhibitions is included on the top floor, while at roof level, under the shelter of a dome of solar panels, is a terrace complete with trees for both visitors and taipower employees to relax.


The building functions mainly as a storage and maintenance space for sustainable energy equipment



Source Design Boom

January 20, 2022