The debate over the aesthetics (or lack thereof) of solar energy harvesting systems seems over after the inauguration of the new building of the International School in Copenhagen. Covered by 12,000 marine green solar panels, this installation in the district of Nordhavn is already one of the largest integrated solar power plants in Denmark, in addition to having taken the union of sustainability and aesthetics to its maximum expression.

In fact, this unique design of Design CF Møller in what will be an urban port space was a finalist for the European Architecture Prize, in addition to having won the ICONIC Award Architecture 2017.

A look around this particular building explains the recognitions and how solar technology was used to obtain clean energy, but also for the design itself and for the beautification of the building.

With space to accommodate 1,200 students, in this 26,000 square meter school, more than 6,000 are fully covered by solar cells unique. The technology, which provides such a special shade of color, comes from Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Its panels are currently in the mass production phase in a format of 3 x 6 meters and 4 millimeters wide.

With the capacity to supply 300 Mwh of electricity per year, which represents more than half of the school’s consumption, these marine green panels dispense with pigments and obtain their coloring from a light interference process on which EPFL has worked intensively.

The building, which is divided into four towers of five to seven floors, is lined with individually angled cells. This creates a lighting effect similar to glitter or the one with the soap bubbles, as they point out at EPFL.

For light interference to produce exactly the tone you want without reducing panel energy efficiency 12 years of research and simulations were necessary. The results of all this work can be seen in the finishing of this school in the Danish capital which, as they remember from EPFL, was included by the Mother Nature Network among “The five solar buildings that will change architecture forever”.

More information in CF Moller.