Despite broad applications and increasing global culture of Photovoltaics (PV), the technology has been considered a product to ‘add’ without design integration with existing city infrastructure. We are inspired by Seoul’s culture of transient streetscapes and dynamism in the built environment and view the nature of change and instability as a new sensibility of a contemporary city. The concept is to connect this phenomenon of change to the application of solar panel technology. We have developed a palette of colored BIPV panels, effective corner details, and colored aluminum and LED panels to test the perception of instability.
Along the main facade of the hospital, there is busy pedestrian traffic anchored by a domed baseball park with mixed commercial programs, metro stations, bus stops, and university buildings. Maintaining the efficiency of manufacturing and energy production, we designed a unique pattern configuration of dark gray, satin gray, gray BIPV panels, aluminum panels, and LED strips. The difference in the light reflection and color mixture produces a continuously changing image of the facade with the change of the sun angle, height, and weather. The instability of this hospital facade reflects the dynamic interactions and activities in the surrounding urban area.
The GS medical center renovation presents a case of an integrative facade retrofit design using Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in the context of roles played by clients, architects, manufacturers, and the government. The renovated facade provides 139.48 kW capacity from a 1022 m2 photovoltaic area, estimated to produce 101,330 kWh/year, equivalent to 43 tons of CO2/year reduction and about 7% of the total energy usage in the hospital.
The focus of the design is to respond to both the socio-cultural mission and the technical aspects of the photovoltaic retrofit. The new hospital facade aims to enhance spatial legibility, animate streets, create a sense of welcome, and provide the image of updated medical services. The facade pattern using a limited material palette will also provide energy production with smart construction logic. Thus, we transformed the four round corner details to 90-degree edges, increasing the PV surface area, providing a straightforward construction arrangement, and making the mass of the building vertical and legible. Moreover, we created a unique pattern using colored BIPV panels, aluminum panels, and LED strips to reflect constantly changing images in the city.
The facade pattern transforms itself depending on orientation, time, and weather, reflecting ever-changing images in the city. Gray and dark gray BIPV panels create an overarching pattern, while black satin BIPV panels and thin LED strips contribute to a dynamic rhythm. Green aluminum panels bring color to the design and also provide construction tolerances for BIPV panel accumulation. The newly created sharp corner buildup emphasizes the verticality of the mass and the new presence of the hospital. The hospital’s newly established facade will not only represent the city’s ever-changing images but also contribute to the integration of renewable energy technology into the facade retrofit.
“This is a completely new presence – not just a building – but a brand, service, street, and public reception.”
Dioinno + JHKA is a collaborative practice founded by Jin Young Song and Junghoon Ko. The team is interested in viewing contemporary facades as mechanisms that integrate manifold technical and non-technical elements, as well as generating a specific relationship between people and culture. Song received his Master's degree in Architecture from Harvard University and has professional experience working for SOM, OMA, and Sauerbruch Hutton. He is currently an Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and has received awards including the iF Design Award, Forge Prize, Architizer A+ Awards, AZ Award of Merit, and AIA New York State Design Award. Jung Hoon Ko holds a Master's degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked as a project architect at Gluck+ and Curtis+Ginsberg Architects.