Synthesis Design + Architecture (SDA), a Los Angeles-based architecture firm, has designed a beautiful but functional solar pavilion for Volvo’s 2013 Switch to Pure Volvo competition. The Switch to Pure Volvo competition was organized by international architecture magazine THE PLAN and called for an innovative and original design for a temporary pavilion that expressed a “strong and creative identity” to showcase Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid at fairs and open air presentations in Italian squares. Volvo touts the Volvo V60 as the first diesel plug-in hybrid.

SDA’s pavilion design was chosen as a winner of the competition from over 150 worldwide submissions.

Volvo Solar Pavilion

Pictured above is SDA’s design concept for Volvo’s 2013 Switch to Pure Volvo competition. The pavilion is built with high density polyethylene mesh, photovoltaic panels, and carbon fiber rods. The rods serve as a skeletal framework for the pavilion, and the mesh (embedded with solar panels) covers the framework. Credit: SDA.

The architecture firm states that their design goals were influenced by the Volvo V60 itself, which combines sustainability and efficiency. SDA was able to integrate these values into their pavilion design by incorporating solar panels and also by designing the pavilion so that it is capable of being completely collapsed into a small tent bag.

“This competition presented us with a unique challenge as architects,” said SDA principal and founder, Alvin Huang. “It addressed issues we are constantly working on and offered the potential to address sustainability as something much broader that can also encompass issues of identity, contemporary culture, materiality, permanence, and personal mobility.”

SDA’s design team includes Alvin Huang, Filipa Valente, Chia-ching Yang, Behnaz Farahi, Yueming Zhou, and Joseph Sarafian.

SDA is also collaborating with the engineering firm Buro Happold Los Angeles to provide structural engineering for the project. Buro Happold’s team includes Greg Otto, Stephen Lewis, and Ron Elad.

SDA’s solar pavilion will be officially launched in Italy on September 15. The exact location of the launch will be disclosed at a later date.

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