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nicolas dorval - bory: water from the sun

Bahram Sh مهمان

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Bahram Sh مهمان


'water from the sun' by nicolas dorval - bory

all images courtesy nicolas dorval - bory


french architect nicolas dorval - bory created 'water from the sun', a proposal for

the architectural design competition for the maribor museum, slovenia.



the project chose to clear a large floor space, an open landscape more than a built

density, linking the drava to koroska street. the museum will no longer be an obstacle

to this route, but rather an urban catalyzer: risen off the natural ground that then

becomes a cultural plaza, most of the program crystallizes in an abstract volume

and a floating landmark.


the tower of sodne stolp is one of the key landmarks of the city. in plan, the museum

and park site extends this strong element by creating a structuring constellation of

circles with various scales, both in the architecture of the museum and in

the landscaping of the park.





entrance to the site through a park, north side


the main volume is a sort of rubik’s cube, 54×54x27m structurally independent box,

three-dimensionally triangulated, whose edges are divided into 3 modules (27 boxes:

18×18x9m). thought of like an accumulation of 27 brian o’doherty’s white cubes,

it provides the necessary space for museum activities, uncluttered and bright, opened

and accessible. glazed on all four sides (as protected by a climatic double skin),

the volume is over-insulated on the underside by a visible multilayer aluminum foil,

and protected on the roof by shading/photovoltaic panels.







main nave 'city’s living room' viewed from the bookstore


circulations - 5 large vertical tubes - are positioned independently but in order to serve

the most logically possible the different areas of the museum. these transparent tubes

(corrugated glass, offering greater resistance) allow the connection between the basement

and exhibition spaces, between the plaza and the library, between offices and storage,

between delivery ramps and the catering area. the two east tubes are reserved for museum

staff and bulky items, while the two west ones are used by visitors. the large central tube

serves as the main circulation, a landmark, a meeting place shaped like a journey.

in its nucleus, each of the 5 tubes features a structural core, wrapping the elevators,

that supports the main volume.





high ceiling periodical exhibition room. work of art : daniel firman 'würsa (à 18 000 km de la terre)'.


exhibition areas are spread over the last two levels in a large open space. the permanent

exhibition space, gathering artworks requiring special storage conditions, is located

on the 2nd level, sheltered from light and temperature variations. the architecture center,

also located on the 2nd level, allows a coherent organization with the permanent exhibits.

temporary exhibitions are settled on the top floor to take maximum advantage of natural light, appropriately shaded on the roof. in two square modules (18×18m, 324m2) the floor is

offset by + /-4m in height in order to promptly identify a ceiling height of 12m, to accommodate

works of greater size in each of two levels of exposure.


both montes charges laid in the tubes is used to deliver works to those floors. widely open

to the outside exhibition areas can expand on 3000m2 of outdoor terraces.




south terrace (catering area), main nave level.




view of the site from above, during winter




site plan of the project at street level: a large public park connects with the museum plaza.

conceptual section diagram: continuity from the street to the river and vertical communications.




programmatic diagram

-1 : storage, parking

0 : public plaza

+1 : general public program

+2 : permanent exhibition

+3 : periodical exhibition












isometric view featuring the architectural components of the building


the main volume is an independent structural box, featuring most of the program.

vertical connections as well as structural pilars are handled by 5 large glass tubes.




section view



general climatic functionning, mixing air and water temperature conditionning techniques : heat pump + solar thermal cooling/heating


to ensure the climatic balance of the museum, the project uses various sources of renewable

energy and thermal vectors.


first, the ventilation of the museum is made through a geothermal heat pump, heating / cooling

incoming outside air through an underground canal (+ / - 16 º C) and heat exchange with

the extracted stale air. in summer, part of the stale air is evacuated through the roof, by natural convection, reducing air pumping energy consumption and creating in some areas natural

air flows. vertical air ducts are located in the five glass tubes.


cooling of the museum is provided by an innovative system of solar cooling. the vacuum tubes

of the south facade heat the water to a temperature of 80 º C, which is then sent to an adsorption

machine (adsorbent: silica gel). through a vaporization/condensation heat exchange process,

cold flow is produced in a separated water circuit. necessary to the proper functioning of the system,

a third water circuit, called coolant (not freezing), is used in this principle and runs through

the north facade of the building. thus, the quantity of cold produced is proportional to the amount

of sunshine, making the use of this system particularly relevant. on the other hand, its very low

power consumption is counterbalanced by the photovoltaic electric production on the roof.



south part, featuring solar thermal collectors, stale air way out…



in winter, the vacuum heating collector tubes can be used to directly preheat the building.


the water system of heating/cooling then runs directly into the thick concrete slabs, ensuring

an ideal inertial diffusion for a museum, where sudden changes of temperature are avoided.


finally, a occasional misting system is included in the technical tubular façade through hundreds

of high pressure nozes, enabling the creation of an artificial cloud from the filtered water from

the drava. this option, used to refresh both the envelope of the museum and its surroundings

(bank, park) can be programmed and operated as an event to create unusual situations around

the museum that becomes itself dynamic, like a floating cloud, a separated active meteorology

in the landscape of maribor.



north part, featuring fresh air entrance, solar thermal cooling machine…




indoor temperature control : air + water flows in various climatic situations





maribor climate: outside temperature increases with sunshine duration, making very efficient use of solar thermal cooling.





climatic control through 4 elements :

- water : heating/cooling through ground and sun energies, refreshing through mist

- air : heating/cooling through ground geothermal energy

- sun : heating façade, provinding shaded light, providing photovoltaic energy




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