Buildings that Incorporate Solar Panels in Creative Ways

Buildings that incorporate solar panels in creative ways

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics or solar electricity cells, are becoming an increasingly common sight in our environment. They capture energy from the sun and convert it into renewable electricity. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity the panels generate. While it is not uncommon for solar cells to be installed as an after thought, this roundup of structures demonstrate how architects from around the world are getting creative with the technology, making it a key feature in their designs without compromising on aesthetics. Here are 10 buildings completed and upcoming that incorporate solar panels in creative ways:

Music Complex in Paris

A wall of photovoltaic panels follows the path of the sun at La Seine Musical, a glazed musical complex near Paris designed by Shigeru Ban. 

Mounted on rails, the sail-like wall is designed to resemble a ship circulating the oval structure. This movement also ensures that the lobby behind is shaded from direct sunlight over the course of the day.


Australian studio Kennon is designing a commercial office tower in Melbourne called 550 Spencer that will feature more than 1,000 glass-like solar panels across its face. 

Set to complete in 2024, the eight story tower’s facade will harness sunlight to produce 50 times more electricity than a standard rooftop solar panel system used in residential projects.


A dragon scale like solar skin forms the roof of Google’s Bay View campus, which BIG and Heatherwick Studio recently completed in Silicon Valley. 

Located in the city of Mountain View, California, the Bay View campus contains two office buildings for Google alongside an events centre and 240 short-term employee accommodation units. 

In an effort to make solar panels beautiful, Marjan van Aubel has created transluscent, stained glass like photovoltaics, which have been unveiled as part of the Netherlands’ pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. 

The solar panels are installed on the roof of the Dutch Biotope pavilion, where they serve the dual role of powering the exhibition and allowing sunlight into the space. 

Architecture studio MVRDV  has released visuals of Sun Rock, a self-sufficient office and operations facility it has designed in Taiwan for the government-owned power company Taipower. 

Depending on the time of day, It’s rounded form maximizes the amount of sunlight that it can harness to create energy. 

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaics or solar electricity cells, are becoming an increasingly common sight in our environment!