Solar Plaza Fargo Architecture Competition - Page 1
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Downtown Fargo: an urban infill Competition - November 2010

Solar Plaza Fargo is a MUVS (Mixed Use Vertical Solar) sustainable design facility that provides 157,000 sf of new retail, office and residential space with its own solar power generation.   Sustainably designed to harvest solar energy, the building envelope incorporates a solar surface optimized for year-round electricity production capable of 850,000 kWhs annual output. The building's eight story form emerges from parametric analysis of sun angle and the adjacent shadow patterns that change with season and time-of-day.  The result maximizes efficiency of solar panel orientation and provides daylight fenestration without solar glare or heat gain.

The design philosophy seeks to maintain a pedestrian scale experience at street level, especially from the Broadway approach, while consolidating vertical mass with existing tall buildings on 5th Street N.  This creates an open feeling with minimal impact on the low rise nature of downtown Fargo.  With street level mass of two-story brick retail, the site maintains a storefront feeling.  A roll of glass sweeps upward along 3rd Avenue N and 5th Street N with low mass transparency, providing interior daylight without direct sun. Generating half of the electric consumption from its solar skin - without cost, noise or emissions - Fargo’s Solar Plaza represents truly sustainable design, not just an icon.

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