Modifying the urban planning to work with the sun. The sun is the one to rule.
The competition organised by the IMS in 2004 foreseed an L-shape building and a deep bay. Geometry prevented any building location that could work with the climate in a favorable way: the deep bay forced to work with non double orientation housings and L-shaped layout generated self made shadows. Only 15% of the dwelling would have a proper orientation and 5% the possibility of cross ventilation.
It was proposed the bay width reduction allowing double orientation dwellings and the shape of the building was modified to integrate the building in an urban coherence taking advantage, in a simple and rigorous way, of the South orientation great energy potential.
Because of its shape, the Solar Hemicycle follows the Sun. The envelope is conceived as a large solar collector during the winter and a huge umbraculum in summer. The envelope constructive solution enables flexible arrangements, different levels of openness or concealment.
Each dwelling is equipped with a solar gallery, taking advantage of the 2460 sun hours a year Mostoles has. The air confined inside the gallery is heated due to the greenhouse effect and is impelled in hygrothermal conditions of comfort to the coldest rooms of the house, the ones oriented North.
These bioclimatic strategies that give shape and sense to the building are complemented by passive and active systems, in a progressive process of reduction of the energetic demand and improvement of comfort conditions for the users. Among these complementary systems (which include solar and photovoltaic panels), without doubt, the most innovative and relevant one is the geothermal air/land system which is combined with a net of solar chimneys that naturally support the air’s convective movement. The combination of all these systems makes possible to cover 78% of the building energy needs by renewable means.