Located in New Orleans, adjacent to the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, Solar Canopy is the arrangement of triangular hybridized structures that improve energy, water collection, and public infrastructure at the urban scale.
The hybridized solar canopy structure can be thought of as an inverted umbrella, in that it produces energy via solar panels, collects water, and houses essential public programs. Programs dispersed throughout the project include skate parks, battery storage and distribution centers, an amphitheater, restrooms, and market stalls.
Along with the structure, a central consideration is the reclamation of energy production, distribution, and consumption within the public sector.
The structures collect water and drain into pools. The proposed 20’ slope allows the pools to drain into lower micro-topographies and into the canal. This topographic shift eliminates the use of water pumps and effectively reduces energy consumption.
The area near the canal is focused on biodiversity with the integration of ecotones which are soften the borders between two ecosystems. Pedestrian paths weave through pools, vegetation, and upward shifts in elevation to create a public space engaged with nature. There are 600 solar panels on each structure. The 25,000 total panels integrated into the site have the capacity to power 1,065 homes. Cores of the structures connect to battery storage units and power is redirected to the existing grid.
Three primary buildings are connected to the structure. A health clinic, art education center, and a child care facility all have small lobbies at ground floor and they use the stem of the structures as vertical cores.