Project type: Modular Architecture
Locations: Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ruanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Germany
Time: since 2012
Solar powered autonomous business unit and compact, affordable shop offering energy and services
Solarkiosk is a highly optimized kiosk with solar panels on top. Once installed, it becomes a compact, affordable and sturdy shop offering energy, products, tools and services. It is designed for “off-grid areas”. Almost 20% of the world population lives in such areas. There is an estimated 1.5 billion people world-wide that are not connected to an electrical power grid. Sub-Sahara Africa is affected with 800 million. The most affected groups of Africa’s lack of energy provision are its rural communities. Very often there is no form of energy provision and this compounds negative factors; deforestation, dirty drinking water, poor education, and low investment. Areas without electricity rural communities remain isolated and immobilized thus continuing the current poverty cycle.
The Solarkiosk was designed to be an off-grid solution for sustainable energy provision: It will substitute extremely expensive unclean energy with low-priced and clean solar power and give access to information for future growth of rural communities.
Because the target market is located in remote areas we had to design a product that could be easily built, assembled yet remain stable in harsh conditions. The SOLARKIOSK is designed as a kit of parts, to be assembled at its target location, particularly in Africa. Before assembly, the kit’s packages are light-weight and thus transportable to remote, off-road areas – in extreme cases, on the back of donkeys. While the electrical components will be manufactured centrally to ensure quality and durability, all others can be made of local materials such as bamboo, wood, adobe, stone, metal or even recycled goods. The kiosk will be assembled locally as a domestic product. It is safe and secure – the entire structure is firmly anchored with newly designed pegs. Special detailing of all joints and assembly points on the inside of the building shell makes tinkering with the kiosk from the outside difficult. The Solarkiosk comes in many configurations, shapes and sizes. We strongly believe that design is not a First-World-privilege and that beauty is part of a social sustainability, hence we created a very unique prototype for the SOLARKIOSK.
Our kiosks do not only offer sustainable energy but can be used for a variety of services such as business, health, entertainment, jobs, communication and information. Electricity is the source for these services. We will offer a unit that opens up isolated communities with sustainable energy, products, services and jobs. Everyone in the local community can benefit from the kiosk and it quickly becomes a local meeting point during the day and night.