Monday, April 30, 2012

Solar-Powered Restaurant Aan Zee Rests Lightly in the Dunes in the Netherlands

Completed in 2011, Restaurant Aan Zee provides an outpost for beach-goers, kite-surfers and mountain bikers to the Oostvoorne area. The building also displays information about the Dutch countryside and provides bathrooms even to people who don’t frequent the restaurant.

The back portion of the building is anchored in the dunes with shipping containers, while the front half is a curving form with a wall of glass to take in the sights. A slatted wood rain screen tops the building to help shield the sun and weather, further aging over time to blend with the landscape. The roof is used as a base for the solar system and visitors can climb to the top of the spiraling watchtower.

The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner as well as coffee, tea and alcohol. Using energy efficient lighting and appliances, the restaurant needs little energy. What little used is provided via photovoltaics, solar hot water and a windmill. Geothermal wells provide energy efficient heating and cooling with the help of natural ventilation. Waste water is treated in a helofytenveld and rainwater is soaked up by the dunes — the building needs no sewage connection.

 Finally, the restaurant was constructed in a way that it can be easily dismantled and recycled if it ever needs to be removed.

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