IAAC - Institute for advanced architecture of Catalonia - Barcelona

Solar House

Pavilion for the FAB10 Symposium. Barcelona, July 2nd to 8th, 2014. This projects was initially designed by Margen-Lab, produced by IAAC and collaborative designed, build, and customised by the FabLab Network.


The ENDESA WORLD FAB CONDENSER is a thermodynamic prototype — a bioclimatic dome installed at the fast-changing Plaça de Glories, within the framework of the BCN FAB10 Congress (the 10th international congress on digital fabrication).


The prototype explores connections between , passive climate strategies and local CNC manufacturing.

© Adrià Goula

It was designed on a global scale (Margen-Lab in collaboration with IAAC and the Fab Lab Network), the materials are renewable and have an organic origin (wood and linen, materials grown with the sun) and manufactured locally (industries and fabrication laboratories from Barcelona and vicinity).

The prototype was designed (written in code) in 2 months, manufactured in 5 days and assembled in 4 arrived with the help of volunteers from Fab Labs (fabrication laboratories) worldwide.

© Adrià Goula

distribution of the fab lab network

unfolded geometry of the pavilion
(icosahedron deformed under thermodynamic criteria)

environmental parametric process to create form
the original icosahedron is deformed to minimize solar radiation

the environmental parametric process to create the form
the original icosahedron is deformed to minimize solar radiation

the skin adapts to maximize natural-artificial ventilation
the north and south winds (mountain and sea) influence on alternate times of day

© Adrià Goula

the entire pavilion is built with 20 components
digital fabrication and parametric design logic
simplify prefabrication and the assembly process.


Digital technologies are transforming the old ways of understanding prefabrication. They are changing the ways in which the industry manages its productive ways. And, most importantly, they are changing the interaction between designer, industry and raw material.

© Adrià Goula

The pavilion consists of 20 triangular modules. The components are all different but share the same formal, constructive and material logic.

Parametric design allows us the possibility of working with geometric complexity and variability. At the same time, the mathematical logic that organizes such variability allows, with digital fabrication tools, to share prefabrication strategies and accelerate communication processes (machine design) and production and construction processes.

The algorithm (the entire pavilion is a script) was designed in 2 months, prefabricated in 5 days and assembled in 4.

© Adrià Goula


The dome pursues to render the surrounding thermodynamic and climate processes. The initial geometry (a regular icosahedron) is first deformed and adapted seeking to minimize the incident solar radiation in the summer, and to maximize it in winter.

© Adrià Goula

The skin bulges or balloons outward, more typical of sailing geometries, to accelerate wind speeds (vernoulli) and facilitate the use of cross ventilation. The orientations of the north-south openings follow the prevailing wind directions (mountain-sea) generating alternative patterns of ventilation (morning-evening).


The surrounding 200m2 wood stage acts as a reservoir of fresh air, naturally injected into the main space through the perforations on the stands every time the wind blows.

Fab Condenser Design


Digital fabrication has the ability to bridge the gap between raw material, post-production, designer and end user. The project then becomes the design of the entire projected life cycle of the product. The project is the production chain.

The prototype was designed globally (with the collaboration of the Fab Lab Network) and manufactured locally (using local materials and products and fabrication laboratories and industries in and around Barcelona).

Fab Condenser
© Adrià Goula

All materials used are of organic origin (linen and wood) and obtained locally. All industries and companies involved in the process are medium scale and located within an 80km radius.

Finally, the assembly process is fully reversible. Wood and fabrics are easily removable (in just one day) and easily reusable or recyclable.

Thermal Performance