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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Energy Roof, Perugia, Italy

'Energy Roof' designed as architectural icon
Nestled comfortably right in the heart (or the thigh) of Italy is the bustling ancient city of Perugia, known for its popular university, it's annual Jazz festival and soon, for an architectural icon by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU set to awe its inhabitants and visitors alike.

Serving both as a canopy and a gateway to visitors of the popular archaeological underground passage at Via Mazzini, the structure is conceived as an energy sponge capturing the sun's rays and the wind's breath. An outer layer of photovoltaic cells optimized automatically using a computer driven scripting program absorb energy from the sun to the west while the east wing collates wind power using wind turbines within a second structural layer. A third inner layer works with the second as a combination of laminated glazing and translucent pneumatic cushions.Not only will the roof and underground passage be provided with energy from the structure but the 'Energy Roof' as it is coined could provide a substantial boost to the city's power grid.

Currently in the planning process the designs have many hurdles yet to jump, but if approved the ambitious concept would bring not just an ultra-modern icon to the city but a reawakening of the city's own history. Based on historical documents showing its existence, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU proposes to excavate the old Etruscan city wall in the area below Piazza Giacomo Matteotti as part of an underground public gallery space exhibiting the history of Perugia, which would be accessed under the roof through openings in the ground.

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