Project Presentation Solaris, Zürich (Switzerland)

Architectural Award Building Integrated Solar Technology – Monday, August 30, 2021


The „Architectural Award Building Integrated Solar Technology“ was established by the Solarenergieförderverein Bayern (Bavarian Association for the Promotion of Solar Energy) in the year 2000. It is one of the few international competitions at the interface between architecture and solar energy. The award honors the planning and designing of excellent building-integrated solar systems and showcases exemplary solutions in sophisticated architecture.

Projekt 02: Solaris, Zurich (Switzerland)

An “aubergine-colored” apartment building with a concisely articulated structural form stands out between a railway line and a heterogeneously developed arterial road. The architects developed an ingeniously organized floor plan for the 10 residential units in the multi-faceted building in order to provide “diverse orientations with extensive views, openness and all-day sunshine”. The special feature of the homogeneously formed envelope is that despite the building’s complex geometry, the façade (46.5 kW) and roof (25.2 kW) are designed as solar generators and produce twice as much electricity over the year as is consumed in the building.

The architects aimed to achieve a “solar house that isn’t necessarily recognizable as such”. Monocrystalline modules are used with a prismatic front glass that is additionally color-coated with a special print technology. This means that the solar cells cannot be seen even at close range; the vertically textured structure gives the glass surface a matt sheen and creates a multi-shaded, colorful play of light over the course of the day in direct and diffuse light and depending on the viewing angle. The homogeneous appearance complements a fa ade structure with concealed fixings and unobtrusively aligned joints, so that the individual panels are barely legible from a distance.

Through the interaction between the people involved in its construction, the Solaris residential building exemplifies the efficiency of solar technology in ambitious, contemporary architecturre. Huggenbergerfries Architects and Ertex Solar are honored for this project with a 2nd prize in the competition „Architectural Award Building Integrated Solar Technology 2020“.

Construction panel:
Builder: hbf futur, Zurich
Architect: huggenbergerfries Architekten, Zurich
PV engineering: SunDesign, Stallikon
PV integration: SunTechnics Fabrisolar, Küsnacht
PV modules: Ertex Solar
Completion: 2017

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