In Progress / The augmented wall 2010

The augmented wall / Installation
In Progress exhibition 2010
MAC's museum - Grand Hornu / Belgium

Our reflection on progress takes the form of a hut based on the form of a wall in adobe. We selected the wall for its thermic qualities and for its inertia, due to its weight. It accumulates heat by day and redistributes it by night. Curvatures augment the wall's surface area while recalling the shape of a radiator. The wall forms the heart of the structure. The qualities of this wall are augmented by a Trombe effect. A glass box attached to one of the hut's surfaces functions like a greenhouse. Heat is trapped between the wall and the glass, increasing the temperature of the wall that faces south. The air contained in this interstice grows warm. It heats the adobe wall, which is pierced at the top and the bottom to allow the air inside the hut to circulate and warm the room. The structure becomes the site of a continuous thermic exchange. The glass surface of the Trombe wall is activated by a covering of dye-sensitized solar Grätzel cells. This new generation of photovoltaic cells functions according the principle of photosynthesis. They include a layer of nanocrystalline that creates transparency. When applied to the south Trombe wall, they increase the Adobe wall's output in heat and electrical energy.