Thermal Urban Acupuncture, T.U.A, a solar heating system that consists of flexible structures and portable heating units that together form outdoor canopy, not only provides thermal comfort for the community but meanwhile rejuvenates social interaction in public spaces in Poblenou, Barcelona. The capacity of free combination of the heating units allows for greater social engagement, serving as an enhancement to the implementation of Barcelona’s urban planning – Superilla. Based on the mapping of major activities taking place in districts, three different types of canopy are targeted for three user profiles.



Based on the solar energy phenomenon of radiation, conduction and heat release, in addition to references from polar bear’s layered skin and the heat-insulation of isothermal blanket, T.U.A. employs the technology of a multilayered system that consists of foldable structure and portable heating unit for retaining solar thermal energy. The foldable structure is composed of a wooden frame with a rotating frame made from poliestirene, onto which the portale heating unit is attached magnetically. On the other hand, the portable heating unit is assembled as a box container with poliestirene on the top, and insulation material on the bottom. Inside the box are tubes filled with heat containing liquid that absorb solar radiation, with the reflective mirrors that magnify rays of radiation.







In order to reactivate the use of public space, T.U.A. is set to be implemented in line with Poblenou Superilla. According to the mapping of major activities and facilities across Poblenou, T.U.A. is planned to be placed in three sites targeting three user groups: Creative students/workers, Kids, Culture enthusiast. Placing T.U.A. in these three designated sites recirculates the flow of activities and people of interest, and provides a thermo-regulated space for target users to  develop relevant activities.





During the winter, the rotatable design allows users to keep the heating unit facing towards the sunlight during day time for absorbing sun radiation, while during night time flipping the heated side inward leaving the insulation outward, or removing the heating unit from the foldable structure for portable uses. The removable heating units will then be used to create furniture or partitions that creates a variety of uses according to users’ need for either work, leisure or exchange of information. During the summer, the system serves as a shaded canopy from the sunlight that meanwhile increases air ventilation and cools down the air as wind passes through the holes on the structure.