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Solar design never looked so cool: 7 modern projects

Kaohsiung Stadium

Photo: wei-ren/Flickr

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Kaohsiung Stadium

Stadiums are almost always massive energy hogs, and usually make for poor examples of sustainable architecture. One exception to the rule, however, is this spectacular, dragon-shaped arena in Taiwan, which generates 100 percent of its electricity from the solar panels lining its exterior.

Designed by Toyo Ito, the energy production of Kaohsiung National Stadium is enough to power 3,300 lights and two jumbo vision screens. Perhaps most impressive, the stadium takes just 6 minutes to power completely up.

Since games aren't played inside the stadium every day, the building is transformed into a power plant during its "off" days, capable of meeting almost 80 percent of the neighboring area's energy requirements.