The sustainable design by MVRDV and the energy-generating features of Sun Rock building make it more than just an operations and maintenance facility; it is also an important communication tool for Taipower to publicly show their ambitions for a greener future.

Fact File

Location: Taiwan
City: Changhua County
Client: Taipower Company
Surface:12900 m²
Program: Industrial

the energy-generating features of Sun Rock building makeMVRDV Sun Rock © MVRDV

Containing offices, a maintenance workshop, storage spaces, and a public gallery, Sun Rock is an operations facility for Taiwan’s government-owned power company Taipower, situated at the west coast of Taiwan. Anticipating Taiwan’s planned transition to green energy, the features of the Sun Rock building, from its shape to its façade, are focused upon generating solar energy as efficiently as possible.

The building’s primary purpose is for the storage and maintenance of sustainable energy equipment. The site receives a significant amount of solar exposure throughout the year, and so the rounded shape of Sun Rock is designed to maximise how much of that sunlight can be harnessed for energy. On the southern side, the building slopes gently downwards, creating a large surface area that directly faces the sun during the middle of the day. At the northern end, the domed shape maximises the area of the building exposed to the sun in the mornings and evenings.

the energy-generating features of Sun Rock building makeMVRDV Sun Rock © MVRDV

The façade maximises this solar potential with a series of pleats, which support photovoltaic panels (mixed in with windows, where required) on their upper surface. The angle of these pleats is adjusted on all parts of the façade to maximise the energy-generating potential of the solar panels. As a result, the building’s photovoltaic panels can generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy per year – an amount of energy equivalent to burning over 100 tons of crude oil. By cladding the entire façade with photovoltaics, maximising the energy gains to make it not only self-sustainable, for its own usage, but also allowing the building to export electricity to the rest of the grid.

the energy-generating features of Sun Rock building makeMVRDV Sun Rock © MVRDV

At the heart of the building is the Data Room, a soaring atrium with real-time displays of data about Taipower’s operations and the amount of renewable energy the company generates. On the first floor, a gallery space provides a view onto the maintenance workshop, allowing the public an up-close look at the machines that make sustainable energy possible, from solar panels to massive wind turbine blades. A gallery for exhibitions is included on the top floor, while at roof level, under the shelter of a dome of solar panels, is a terrace for visitors and employees to relax.