One unique talent attributed to solar power is its adaptability. It has a knack for integrating into so many situations, from the urban landscape to suburban rooftops to the desert panorama. Most exciting, and least controversial, is solar power’s ability to plop down right into urban centers without upsetting the flow of life and economy. Better yet, it actually facilitates an easier flow while contributing to a cleaner environment and economy.
Baita Design, a Brazilian design studio, has presented us with the latest evidence of that effect: the solar-powered Oasis Shelter Bench. It is a meeting place for neighborhoods and community. A place to park your bike, charge your cell phone or have a bite to eat — and to do so under the shade of a solar-paneled roof that powers the shelter and adds solar energy to the local grid.
Intended for wide sidewalks, public squares or parks, the Oasis is made from anodized aluminum. It will have bicycle racks on one side with space to sit and prepare a quick lunch on the other. In the center section will be a bar countertop with stools to rest or do computer work and outlets through which to charge your computer, cell phones and other small devices. In cities with community WiFi connections, it would be a great place to stop for a quick email check.
The flat roof of the shelter will be covered in solar panels, enough to provide all the power and lighting needs as well as produce extra for the local electric grid. It will have its own built-in generator, inverter and charge controller, making it a small, standalone power plant in addition to meeting place.
The Oasis is obviously designed for a city and lifestyle in which people drive less, and public transport, walking and biking take over as dominant modes of intra-city travel. These kinetic and public forms of transportation are already common in cities all over the world, mostly larger urban centers. I hope for them to take over in smaller cities as well, and perhaps the Oasis Shelter Bench will accompany the shift.
Via The Design Blog