A Photovoltaic Like No Other | May 15, 2009

I had the day to myself, which was nice. There’s sixteen students in the class, and each pair of us is responsible to guide a walk through a portion of the city. My walk is through the southeastern portion of Avenita Diagonal along the seashore. It’s off most maps of Barcelona and is mainly composed of new developments and some pretty amazing buildings by well known architects. I’m not going to go too much into the walk itself, because I’d like to save that for when we actually walk the site as a class a few weeks from now, but there is one part of the walk that stood out to me. A photovoltaic (solar power) structure like I’ve never seen in my life.

For those of you concerned that this is heading for a preachy environmental campaign, rest assured that I have no such intention. Environmental and sustainability issues are well known and no one needs my two cents on the subject. Rather, for me, this is a really good opportunity to talk about architecture and technology. Architecture has suffered quite a bit at the hands of technology. A small example of this is any common vent covering. We need them, obviously, but they’re an eyesore to an otherwise attractive space. And furthermore, no one cares to design better ones.

Much of the infrastructure that we use falls into that same category, but I think the structure above is a beautiful exception. The solar technology is in place and it works, but it is also much more than that; it’s an experience. It accentuates the beach and the horizon in a way that wouldn’t be accomplished otherwise.

Now there’s a couple of people reading this that would say that it’s just too expensive to do stuff like that all the time. There’s obviously some truth to that, but I would say more often than not, we can find better solutions to our problems even within budget constraints. I’ve been to some of the poorest countries in the world, and the difference in neighborhoods isn’t how much money you throw at it, but rather how much the people there care to make the most of it.


Posted in Barcelona_09

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About author

I'm a young aspiring architect. This blog is a record of my journey in this great profession.







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