Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I don't think we're in Detroit anymore, Toto...

Foster + Partners carbon neutral design "Motor City" won a competition back in April in Aragon Spain, but I just discovered it today and felt it was worth a mention. The shape and design, given the surrounding background, didn't exactly scream sustainability. But I digress...

The roof of the pavilion, designed with the slick curves of an F1 racer, is laden with photovoltaic cells, solar thermal tubes, and wind turbines. The resulting aerodynamics, in addition to the modified guts and gears, make the building carbon neutral.

Want to take a virtual tour?

I, however, only believe in the claim of carbon neutrality 10 years after construction...with biiiig stacks of reports/facts/evidence. Regardless, I was pretty amazed with the work F+P has done over the years. Pretty amazing stuff.

Then again, I'm not sure I would want to change the landscape of Aragon, Spain. Beautiful.

Anywhoo, from their website:

Foster + Partners has won the international competition to create La Ciudad del Motor -Motor City – a major new leisure and cultural zone within a new motor sports centre in Alcañiz, Aragon, it was announced today. The scheme was chosen from a shortlist of internationally-renowned architectural practices; Jean Nouvel, Dominique Perrault, UNStudio and MVRDV.

The design of Motor City is inspired by the sleek aerodynamic aesthetic of the racing car. The smooth forms and volumes of the building are sculpted by solar and wind patterns with a lightweight roof that floats over the entire complex. Motor City will use passive environmental controls as well as harnessing renewable energy, enabling the whole complex to be carbon neutral.

The roof integrates sustainable design elements such as photovoltaic cells and solar thermal tubes on its surface together with an array of wind turbines. The sweeping roof culminates in a tower which gives the development its identity. When illuminated at night, it will become a beacon for Motor City, echoing the nearby Parador of Alcañiz announcing a new era of sustainable development for the region.

The practice is opening a new office in central Madrid in May to look after and develop its work in Spain. This competition win is the latest in a group of projects the practice has recently won throughout Spain that includes Madrid’s City of Justice, the headquarters for Repsol YPF, a winery for Faustino and a masterplan for Seville.