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Architects create ethereal facility in the desert to oversee solar panels: 'It's almost like a real oasis'

The impressive array can produce clean energy for 2 million people.

The impressive array can produce clean energy for 2 million people.

Photo Credit: Kalyon Enerji

In the heart of the Turkish desert, on roughly 8-square-miles designated for energy development, exists a gleaming solar-energy sanctum that includes 3.5 million panels operated by Kalyon Enerji

The impressive array can produce clean energy for 2 million people, according to Kalyon. The shimmering, stainless steel-clad facility is eye-catching and responsible for providing the controls for the solar plant. 

According to designers from Bilgin Architects of Istanbul, it was built to maximize renewable energy and its existence in an inhospitable landscape.

"It is a wind-receiving, non-dusty, and shaded area. It almost acts as a machine that contributes to the energy efficiency of the building," firm founding partner Caner Bilgin told Dezeen, an online design publication.

The facility's name — Central Control Building — is extremely underwhelming, but don't let the Soviet-esque moniker fool you. One view of the designer's video tour is proof enough of the futuristic marvel. 

The 7,200 stainless steel panels that cover the outside of the square structure present a formidable welcome. It's a multifaceted concept with varying degrees of transparency, which limits the heat reaching the main facade, and also creates color and visual spectacles. It even appears to become part of the sky depending on the weather conditions. At night, the facade "turns inside out," revealing the awesome interior. It was positioned so that it never casts a shadow on the crucial suncatchers surrounding it, all per the designers.

"Thanks to the high reflectance levels of the facades, the building becomes integrated with the geography it inhabits," Bilgin told Dezeen. "The silhouette of the horizon continues on the facades."

Inside, there is a central, lush green space in the middle of the square design. The layout features futuristic-looking geometry. And it all sits on an elevated ground floor, providing blurred spatial dimensions for visitors. That feature also allowed for the excavation area to be reduced, the firm notes

Integrating nature, green spaces, and passive design concepts into construction and cityscapes are important for our energy consumption future

The concept can also be game-changing for our health. A report from ScienceDirect indicates that living near trees and other plants can positively impact our genes, even slowing aging.  

The International Energy Agency reports that suncatchers accounted for three-quarters of the world's renewable power production last year, with expectations that solar panel energy production will continue to grow. 

You don't have to live in Turkey to access the tech. Innovations making home-based systems readily accessible are becoming more common — potentially saving customers tens of thousands of dollars. 

At Kalyon, the setup looks a little alien. The huge field of solar panels and its uniquely designed stainless-steel control center seem to have come from the movie set of the next alien-world action thriller. 

But in reality, dirty energy sources are among the only things alien to this part of the desert. 

"It's almost like a real oasis," Bilgin said in the Dezeen story. 

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