To create a sign-in/waiting area, we designed a wall and desk using non-working Powerguard panels, Powerlight's main photovoltaic roofing product. The client, at first, asked for wall space to display their products at the entry. Instead, we used the products themselves to build the walls and desk. The unique color and pattern of PV cells create a striking surface, constantly changing with the light. The glass reception desk acts as a "truth window", revealing a cutaway of Powerguard units below.

The second element is a conference room constructed of blue-ish acrylic panels leftover from another job. We stenciled a typical photovoltaic cell pattern on the panels. The structural ribs are shaped marine grade plywood and finished with natural oils. The translucent conference room has a shimmering, jewel box quality. Because of the blue tint and the multiple layers of acrylic, the color and opacity change dramatically throughout the day and with changing lighting.

The third element is at the center of the space under a 6' by 6' skylight. It is a 12' diameter, asymmetrical, rounded bookshelf that separates a gathering space on the inside from the office space outside. The space triples as an overflow conference area, the library and the office gathering/eating area. The structure is made of oiled, marine grade plywood and covered with metal mesh and plaster. The outside is plastered with hard troweled, Venetian plaster with a deep yellow/gold pigment, evoking the sun, the core of Powerlight's business.

This project challenged us to integrate the needs of a thriving business and environmental ethics with architecture in artful and elegant ways. The result is a distinctive office design that weaves the company's mission and values into all of its elements.

Photographs by Ethan Kaplan and Leger Wanaselja Architecture