Beauty, technology and solar energy are combined in a unique solar art glass installation in the spire of the new Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, Canada. “Lux Gloria” (Light of Glory) is a landmark installation of three monumental south-facing windows that grace the upper façade. This project is a world first – a cathedral whose stained glass windows generate energy from sunlight, and provide a visible demonstration of environmental concern.
The design for “Lux Gloria” was inspired by the beauty of creation and Saskatchewan’s vast prairie skies. The largest window is 37 feet high by 12 feet wide and sits 107 feet above the ground. Each window is divided into 18 panels – 54 panels in total – with each panel being a unique size, shape and design.
At a practical level, the stained glass windows shade the interior of the worship space (and organ loft) from strong south light – an essential element of the building’s design. In contrast to traditional stained glass, the solar windows are highly visible to the exterior and form a seamless integration with the white cladding. Solar panels had been considered for the roof of the new Cathedral but their integration into the stained glass proved the most expressive and attractive option.
The solar array is grid-connected and the installation is Saskatchewan’s first building-integrated photovoltaic system (BIPV– solar panels embedded into windows or walls). The Cathedral of the Holy Family will receive a rebate on their energy costs from the utility grid.
The city of Saskatoon enjoys an annual average of 2,381 hours of sunlight – the highest in Canada. With more than 1000 hand-soldered, silver coloured solar cells embedded in the windows, this installation is expected to produce about 2,500 kilowatt hours annually. The city of Saskatoon’s motto – “Saskatoon shines” is celebrated and embodied in this pioneering solar installation.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.