Transsolar's contribution to this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, "Lightscapes: Local Identity – Exploring a Forgotten Resource," creates visible rays of light in the Arsenale as a means of merging technology with local knowledge.
"Lightscapes," a collaboration between Transsolar's Matthias Schuler and architect Anja Thierfelder, immediately brings to mind Jean Nouvel's design for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, where a perforated dome brings a "rain of light" to the spaces below (Transsolar is a consultant on the project). The presence of crepuscular rays (visible rays of sunlight) in Abu Dhabi arises from the area's high dust levels, but in the Arsenale the effect happens through mechanical means: artificial lighting and smoke machines. Whatever the means, it is an enchanting installation.
In Transsolar's statement, "Design strategies pursue efficiency by channeling the forces of nature instead of opposing them. Can a forest be an alternative to HVAC in terms of thermal performance? " Seeing the installation in person makes one believe the answer is a resounding "Yes."