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The Novartis Pavillon, a new exhibition, meeting and event centre located on the Novartis Campus, was designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi...
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Novartis Pavillon
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Valentin Spiess
Chairman and founder of iart
“Based on the idea of a network of cells, the façade spans the building as a semi-transparent membrane. Organic photovoltaics combined with LEDs create a symbiosis of material and light, resulting in a multi-layered appearance. The required energy is produced by the membrane itself, thus realising our vision of a zero-energy media facade.”
Converting sunlight into art

The Novartis Pavillon, a new exhibition, meeting and event centre located on the Novartis Campus, was designed by AMDL CIRCLE and Michele De Lucchi.
Within the framework of a collaboration with iart, a studio for media architecture, more than 10,000 ASCA® modules have been designed, manufactured and laminated into polycarbonate to form a net-like curtain wall attached to the aluminum facade of the ring-shaped pavilion. The energy generated by the modules power the LEDs offering a self-powered facade that lights up to show artistic content.

Ground floor and mezzanine floor architectural plan. Source: Blaser Butscher Architekten AG.

Self-powered media facade. The facade is illuminated with art animations for up to two hours after sunset. These animations were created by international artists Daniel Canogar, Esther Hunziker and Semiconductor and always run alternately. They were curated by the House of Electronic Arts (HEK) in Basel.

The Novartis Pavillon features a network of translucent cells that are equipped with organic solar modules and LED elements.

Building characteristics
  • Building typology
    Public places
  • Construction type
    New
  • Year of construction
    2022
  • Energy reference area
    n/a
  • Energy index
    n/a
  • Energy labelling
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Nicholas Bewick,
Art Director for Architecture AMDL Circle
``This technological facade is something totally new in architecture. It gives the building many possibilities to express itself.``
Energy
Active solar surface 1.300m²
Active solar surface ratio abt. 50%
Peak power 36 kWp
Building skin application Curtain wall
Energy production
0
kWh
n/a
Building skin
  • Application
    Semi-transparent media facade
  • Description
    Point-mounted facade system creating a media facade with both illumination and energy production functions.
  • U value
    n/a
  • Fastening system
    The rhombus-shaped organic solar cells are screwed into the metal facade.
  • Other
    The partial transparency of the photovoltaic layer is crucial, as it is the sole reason the light shimmers not only over, but also through the building envelope.

The net-like membrane is attached to the sheet metal facade of the building.

ASCA® organic photovoltaic module with LED cores. Photo: Novartis Pharma AG.

BIPV module
  • Product
    10 different sizes of custom made diamond and triangle-shape modules
  • Manufacturer
    ASCA
  • Cell technology
    Organic photovoltaic
  • Cell colour
    Transparent blue with a blank area for the light of the LEDs
  • Front glass type/customization
    Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
    n/a
  • Specific power
    n/a
  • Specific weight
    n/a
Technical details

The building’s circular plan is structured across two levels, a ground floor and mezzanine, that will cater to different functions. At ground floor, 360 glazing allows natural light to enter the space in perfect continuity with the outside.
More than 10,000 ASCA® modules have been laminated into polycarbonate to form a net-like curtain wall point-mounted to the aluminum facade of the ring-shaped pavilion.

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Costs
  • Total cost of the building
    n/a
  • Price per m³  
    n/a

Wonders of Medicine exhibition. Source: Novartis.

Parties involved
  • Owner
    Novartis Pharma AG
  • Design Architects
    ADML Circle and Michele De Lucchi
  • Executive architect and construction supervision
    Blaser Butscher Architekten AG
  • Media facade & exhibition technical development
    iart
  • Development of the technical system of the modules and production
    ASCA
  • Facade installer
    iart
  • Photo
    iart, Laurits Jensen
Awards and recognitions
  • Awards
    Media Architecture Biennale Award “Future Trends and Prototypes”
  • Publications
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