A Red Building That Is Totally Green

A spectacular façade isn’t all that the Kuggen, an office building in Gothenburg, Sweden, is all about. It is totally sustainable too. Designed by Winngardh Arkitektkontor, the Kuggen was inspired by a cog wheel (hence its name in Swedish) and the saw-toothed edges of a leaf.

Every part of the building was created for energy conservation. The six floors of the building are skewed to the south to provide shade for the floor below, and the windows are triangular shaped to let in light where it is needed most at the ceiling, so that daylight can penetrate into the center of the building. A moving photovoltaic sun screen on the top floor tracks the sun to generate electricity and shade the space inside, and a solar thermal system sits on the roof to generate hot water for the building. The structure itself is made of prefabricated concrete panels that provide thermal mass, and clad with long-lasting ceramic painted in bold shades of red. Yes, it is possible for a building to look good and be sustainable too.