samuel wilkinson bases nature solar shelter on african acacia tree
samuel wilkinson bases nature solar shelter on african acacia tree samuel wilkinson bases nature solar shelter on african acacia tree
mar 24, 2014

samuel wilkinson bases nature solar shelter on african acacia tree

samuel wilkinson bases nature solar shelter on african tree form
all images courtesy of samuel wilkinson studio




london designer samuel wilkinson has unveiled a new solar shelter called ‘nature’, which is based on the idea of creating energy neutral autonomous public spaces. the project is currently in development and will be produced in collaboration with spanish outdoor company urban square. designed to have minimal impact at ground level, the structures are able to collect large amounts of solar energy in their 7m canopies. the wide form creates a sheltered area from the sun and rain and consists of a slatted wood underside that is supported by a painted galvanized steel formation.


‘the shelter’s form has been derived from the shape of the african acacia tree. they have wide, flat canopies with very little vegetation underneath so are perfect for shade and shelter… usually these kind of structures feel hard and cold so adding a wood was very important to produce a softer warmer feel when underneath’, says samuel wilkinson.


nighttime view



integrated LED lighting illuminates the urban pieces of street furniture, enabling them to be used as meetings points, functions or events such as markets. the overall aim is to produce enough energy for local street furniture, kiosks and other amenities, as well as being adapted to set up new charge points for electric cars. ‘nature’ works as a singular piece or in series, and the power they create is either used locally or fed back into the grid. matching benches are also envisioned to go with the shelter, acting like roots surrounding the tall objects in various configurations.

electric car charge application


solar energy to offset local power needs


slatted wood canopy


plan and elevation


energy diagram


side elevation



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

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