An elegant BIPV sculpture: Portalen

Part 8 / 15 of the series "Solar architecture at its best – Excellent projects from the Architecture Award Building Integrated Solar Technology 2022 introduced briefly"

Portalen, Drammen (Norway)

The Portalen office building in Drammen, Norway, has been designed as a new office extension whose upper storeys span across an existing building and smaller pavilion, thus impressively reformulating the entrance situation. The seven-storey building’s façade is defined by narrow and vertically oriented opaque elements that protrude clearly from the plane of the façade. The precisely articulated concept is complemented by floor-to-ceiling glazing and narrow spandrel panels concealing the ceiling structure.

Recessing the uppermost storey to form an open space gives the structure a certain lightness despite its mass, which is provided with an additional rhythm by the alternately offset façade panelling. In these elements, the cladding with integrated PV modules is designed as a rainscreen structure with concealed joints. 434 modules (in 29 different formats) covering 305 m2 and with an installed capacity of 87.65 kW are installed in the façade. In addition, a standard 338 m2 rooftop system generates a predicted yield of around 100,000 kWh.

The façade surfaces are kept in a reddish colour palette in various gradations. This is continued in the treatment of the front glass for the crystalline PV modules, which excellently complements the metallic and glass surfaces of the building through various reflections. A fine texture also appears on the surface when lit by the sun. The result impresses through the integration of the photovoltaics as part of an elegant façade concept.

The project received an award by the jury of the “Architecture Award Building-Integrated Solar Technology 2022“.

Project partners
Owner/Operator: Union Eiendomsutwikling AS
Architect: Lund+Slaatto Arkitekter

Get an Overview of the series "Solar architecture at its best – Excellent projects from the Architecture Award Building Integrated Solar Technology 2022 introduced briefly“

About the Architecture Award Building Integrated Solar Technology

The “Architecture Award Building-Integrated Solar Technology“ was started in the year 2000 by the Solarenergieförderverein Bayern (Bavarian Association for the Promotion of Solar Energy) and held since then for the 9th time. The award is established as an international competition concerning the interface between architecture and solar energy. The prize honors exemplary contributions of planning and designing building-integrated solar systems.

In the last edition of the competition the jury singled out 15 projects from 121 entries, which we want to present in a series. The jury was unanimous in its positive assessment that even with very different building tasks, and in different environments, these projects show that photovoltaic modules and solar thermal collectors can be successfully integrated with equal ambition in terms of design and technology.

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