David Bergmark and Ole Hammarlund of Solsearch Architects stand at the southeast corner of the Ark, beside cylindrical solar-algae aquaculture ponds awaiting installation in the greenhouse. The Ark was conceived by the New Alchemy Institute, and designed in collaboration with Solsearch, bringing biology together with architecture. The photo dates from fall of 1976.
The south face of the Ark is organized to maximize harvest of solar energy. A vertical “billboard” of active solar collectors for heating the dwelling runs along the top of the Ark. The sloped translucent roof of the greenhouse below provides both ultraviolet light for plants and algae in the greenhouse, and infrared light to passively heat the greenhouse space itself. It’s slope also reflects low winter sun onto the “billboard” of collectors above. A small bank of sloped collectors at the far end of the Ark above the greenhouse roof heats domestic water.