Valentino Gareri Atelier have joined forces with technology and wellness consultant Steve Lastro of 6Sides and global wellness real estate innovators Delos to create Sunflower Village, a humanistic and sociological approach to residential technology & community living. The proposed residential village includes 19 homes arranged in a sunflower composition that 'follows the sun'.
Their project comes as a response to the amount of people who wanted to escape high-dense urban cities during the pandemic, and felt encouraged by the newly-imposed working-from-home policies. This shift from big cities to small rural towns proved how it became necessary to rethink about these overlooked areas and define a "new model of city for the post-pandemic future".
The one-storey houses are constructed with a 3d-concrete-printing technology. The construction process of the units organically shapes the final urban form, since new construction techniques and materials have the tendency to influence the final form of structures. The houses are distributed around a central communal area, with photovoltaic roofs shaped and angled towards the sun in order to receive direct clean energy.
Architecture has the power to create places that don’t exist yet, but in our dreams. ‘Sunflower’ is the model of the city we dream for tomorrow. -- Valentino Gareri
The construction site is placed in the center, allowing the concrete-printer machine to move through flexible binaries to print all the houses. Due to a temporary placed turning-table, the houses are printed in sequence by rotating in the central site. Less soil is consumed during the working phase, which makes it an even more sustainable construction process.
Each house is designed to be energy self-efficient, not only due to their orientation, but also due to photovoltaic frameless tiles that are clad onto the angled roofs. The clean energy collected from the sun exposure is collected in batteries and used for the floor-heating system, air-conditioning, and for electric cars alimentation. In addition to energy absorption, the inclined roofs also promote rain water collection for toilets and irrigation. The house geometry, arrangement, and orientation promote and increase the chimney effect of natural ventilation, reducing the need for automated air-conditioning. PV panels are allocated only on the roofs which have the best sun orientation, the energy accumulated is shared with the whole village, and the facades are treated in order to achieve the best performance according to the solar orientation.
Since wellness is at the forefront of Sunflower Village, each home is fitted with DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence by Delos, "the world’s first holistic in-home wellness platform that is designed to passively enhance human health and well-being through air purification, water filtration and lighting that mimics natural daylight". The circular configuration provides a more sustainable way of connecting the units, providing a strong sense of community and reducing the amount of necessary roads and vehicles. This newly-proposed living module can be translated onto other public functions such as schools, kindergartens, and public civic centers.