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This is more an article focusing on a particular item within, rather than the whole of the Institute of Science and Technology STEM school, designed by Hutton Architecture Studio. This item is the interesting thing that is the Sundolier and its extensions into the school. The Sundolier is evidently a solar robot which can light entire rooms. What? That sounds like a good idea.

© Sundolier

The decently sized array of reflectors and to a lesser extent PV cells sits atop the roof of the school where after reflecting the sunlight several times, it beams the sunlight down into the space of the main lobby through ‘diffusion chandeliers’ which perform a function akin to their name, providing a warm, vibrant, drawing glow to the entire space. The sunlight has enough power from its amplification to rebound off the central chandelier and then off the relief ceiling- lighting approximately 1,000 ft² while using no more power than that which is needed to power the mirrors’ tracking of the sun. This is provided by those two PV cells.

© Sundolier

So now to this interior ‘chandelier’. It is an 8 inch tube which reaches down two stories through the centre of the main lobby/headspace. Horizontal, circumferential etchings line the inside of the tube, picking up the sunlight in brilliant, mesmerizing rings and drawing visiors into the space. And there’s a good ceiling. Constellations of LED lights run across the ceiling as quasi-random intervals and groupings. Upon being drawn in by the glowing tube and the stellar LEDs, students can perform experiments with controlled sunlight inside an operable hatch at ground level.


© Sundolier

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