Onyx Solar provides photovoltaic glass to the Azurmendi Restaurant

Nestled in a Spanish hillside surrounded by stunning vineyards, Eneko Atxa’s Azurmendi Restaurant is far from your run-of-the-mill eatery.



ontrary to your conventional restaurant, Azurmendi takes diners on a culinary journey, providing guests with a unique dining experience that’s quite apart from a regular sit-down meal. At the peak of the building sits a rooftop vegetable garden patch with ‘home-grown’ produce. Moving inside, guests can appreciate an indoor greenhouse with additional local produce.

A commitment to sustainability

Labelled as one of the most unique, sustainable buildings of modern-day architecture, the Azurmendi Restaurant ethos is one of sustainability and diversity. Not only has Azurmendi obtained the LEED ‘Gold’ certification, it was also declared the ‘Most Sustainable Restaurant in the World’ in 2014.

This title stems from Azurmendi’s commitment to sustainability; both through the environmentally-friendly materials that have been used to construct the building itself and also through the renewable technologies that have been specified for the building’s operations.

Supporting the sustainable design, Architect, Naia Eguino, worked closely with the Azurmendi team to design a space enclosed by breathtaking natural surroundings with sustainability and material diversity at its core. Stone, wood and iron were the primary materials selected for the project. Azurmendi required materials that combined tradition and modernity with a linear structure to create an atmosphere that evokes warmth and serenity.

Renewable requests

While the envelope and internal fittings of Azurmendi have sustainable origins, the technological features of the build were also specified with renewables in mind.

Photovoltaic specialist, Onyx Solar, was approached to provide over 200m² of photovoltaic glass to the Azurmendi project, which was integrated into the large-scale curtain walling and rooftop skylights. The project, in fact, is considered to be one of the most outstanding photovoltaic integration solutions in the whole of Europe.

The low-emissivity (or low-e) glass used is made of amorphous silicon and features a semi-transparency degree of 20%. This type of glass enables the passage of daylight into the interior while it filters out as much as 99% of the ultraviolet radiation and 95% of infrared light, thus preventing harm to the interior furniture, to diners or to plants, and the greenhouse effect which is so common in glass-covered buildings.

The skylight and the curtain wall total an installed power capacity of 21kWp and generate approximately 16,500kWh per year while preventing the release of 11 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Alongside photovoltaics, Azurmendi reuses rainwater for the garden, greenhouses and toilets; takes advantage of natural daylight to reduce the use of artificial light and controls temperature and ventilation to reduce the need for air conditioning.

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