Experimental house - CASA NAO CASA

Type: Comission Location: Moita, Portugal Team: Pedro Campos Costa , Ivan Teixeira e Alessia Allegri Colaboration of António Cavaleiro, Andrea Barczyk, Yo , Rita Henriques, Fedelica Caccavale e Florindo Ricciuti With: PV systems - Maria João Rodrigues Model - MODELAB - Marco Galofaro 3d rendering - Hugo Fernandes e Marco Madruga Client: Experimenta Lisbon Bienal and Corte Real Investments

“The mirror has no memory, and cannot retain an image unless it is applied to its surface. And, unlike the photographic negative it is incapable of multiplying the image reflected in its surface – unless that surface is fragmented and its integrity destroyed.” - Robert Hopper The CASA NÃO CASA is a solar house that is invisible within the landscape in which it is situated. All of the south-facing roof and wall surfaces are clad in photovoltaic cells produced by Origin Energy Solar Pty Ltd. We used a new technology called PV bifacial cells that absorb light to produce energy on both the exterior and interior facing cell surfaces. In doing so, we effectively created a mirror that not only generates more energy, but also creates the image of invisibility that we were looking for to contextualize the architecture within the landscape. The project is an example of considering new clean technologies early in the design process to make them a fundamental feature of a façade concept. .The layout of the house and geometry of the pyramidal facade were created to try to achieve optimal orientation for absorbing solar energy. The use of bifacial PV cells was an inspiration for the concept of a house that disappears within the landscape whilst generating energy. The unfolded rendered façade shows the blurred reflection of the surroundings, creating a 360o image of how the house would sit in the plot. The diagrams below show the impact of new Portuguese law on investment in the project. The section shows how this system could be built, an image of the bifacial PV cells and a small scheme of how it works. The Casa não Casa hides behind mirrors, using pyramidal shapes that not always reflect reality. It lengthens, mimics, disguises, copies, hides and deforms. The concept of invisibility also questions the complexity of contemporary search for an identity by challenging the premise that a house needs a physical presence. A mirror doesn’t fix an image of ourselves, and is likely not a true reflection. However, we continue to look into them to see who we are to build our self-identity.