The project

Shade sail African Union Building

In collaboration with the leading manufacturer of steel cable and mesh constructions, Carl Stahl Architektur, ASCA has developed a unique energy-generating shade sail in the shape of the African continent for the “Peace and Security” Building of the African Union, a project managed by the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).
The lightweight system consists of 445 individual transparent blue modules, which supply sufficient electricity to power the LED lighting system inside the building.

The combination of ultra-light and flexible ASCA® organic “free-form” modules, based on 3rd generation photovoltaic technology and a stainless-steel cable mesh construction has enabled the realization of a solar project of this magnitude for the very first time. Mounting was done using a combination of steel ropes and tubes to create a non-collapsing structure.

Limitless designs

By combining ASCA® modules with each other, it is possible to create unique and innovative designs with almost no limits.

Being able to assemble a system of this size in just 5 days and mainly with local forces shows the incredible potential in the combination of OPV and steel cable structures

Luca Casati, Chief fitter at Carl Stahl & assembly manager in Addis Ababa

Project steps

  • Design & Project planning
    March - April 2015
  • Production of OPV & pre-assembly
    April - June 2015
  • Installation & commissionning
    August 2015


Mission Stakeholder
Overall design ASCA, GiZ
Technical system development ASCA, Carl Stahl
Module design and production ASCA
Electrical system (incl. design) ASCA
Mechanical system (incl. design) ASCA
Pre-assembly ASCA
Installation and commissioning Carl Stahl, ASCA

The project

Solar surface: 500 m2



OPV sail in shape of African continent