Nature’s instinct for survival and growth is the precondition for the ultimate prefabricated structures – trees and their seeds. Inspired by the mighty pine tree and its tiny seed, HG-Architecture’s Solar Pine for Posco Energy Green Park in Incheon, South Korea, is a sunlight-generation sculpture which derives its geometric pattern from the pinecone.

If the natural world serves as the project’s starting point, its process was guided by cutting-edge digital fabrication. Built from steel in a shell structure, the sculpture consists of a solar-panelled roof and a pipe support structure. The roof inclines at a calibrated angle to receive as much sunlight as possible, while the geometric pattern also creates beautiful patterns of shadow on the floor. At night, the solar energy absorbed throughout the day is used to power the lighting inside the building and in the park.

Solar Pine is a prototype for mass production – both the installation and assemblage of the structure are done through prefabrication, and every component was manufactured in a factory and bolt-assembled on the ground. By commercializing this type of eco-friendly structure through the incorporation of design elements, HG-Architecture interrogates the line between the natural world and technology’s role in it.