volvo V60's pure tension: a portable solar-powered pavilion
volvo V60's pure tension: a portable solar-powered pavilion volvo V60's pure tension: a portable solar-powered pavilion
jul 17, 2013

volvo V60's pure tension: a portable solar-powered pavilion

volvo V60’s pure tension: a portable solar-powered pavilion
all images courtesy synthesis design + architecture



los angeles-based synthesis design + architecture has designed a collapsible tensile membrane structure in form of ‘PURE tension’ for the new volvo V60. the pavilion was commissioned by volvo car italia and brought together the likes of buro happold and fabric images in the creation of an ultra-lightweight, rapidly deployable shelter and charger for the hybrid electric diesel car. in keeping with environmentally-minded measures and a dynamic dialogue between designers, engineers and fabricators, the experimental structure will be composed of recyclable high-density polyethylene and embedded with a pattern of photovoltaic panels that harness sunlight to charge the V60 model. the car is meant to ‘plug’ into the pavilion and co-opt the energy collected that day, in effect reframing the stagnation of the typical trade show shelter into a more integral part of the car’s sustainable features. the flexible membrane is informed by the frei otto’s pioneering fabric constructions and manifests a structural skin as a sequence of hyperbolic curves held in tension by the a carbon fiber tube ring that allows the structure to perfectly fit in the trunk of the car upon disassembly. both the car and pavilion will premier in rome in september 2013.



the tensile membrane is embedded with photovoltaic panels in a graphic pattern



elevation view of the pavilion



longitudinal section of the flexible, high-performing membrane



elevation shows a skin embedded with solar-harnessing technology



exploded axon of the set up



construction, joinery, and disassembly process



rendered plan



project info:


program: pavilion
location: rome, italy
client: volvo car italia
year: 2013
status: 1st place 2013 switch to pure volvo pavilion design competition, completion in september 2013
design team: alvin huang, filipa valente, chia-ching yang, behnaz farahi, yueming zhou, joseph sarafian
structural engineering: buro happold los angeles (greg otto, stephen lewis, ron elad)
fabrication: fabric images (jason gilette, leo boczar, sam lugiano)

  • impressive and highly innovative

    prathith shetty says:

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