e-QBO: a Modular Power Monolith

e_QBO is a project with a pure and essential shape of a high aesthetic and functional impact thought by the architect Romolo Stanco to answer to exigencies coming from all the contemporary cities with a look to the future.
e-QBO is a able to accumulate energy thanks to its photovoltaic “skin” and to give it back in the form of services for domestic and public users: power source of every interior service asking for electricity, urban lighting, audio and video interactive communication, data capture and return, wi-fi connection and free energy for recharging of electronic tools and electric vehicles.

“The e-QBO cube is an architectural URBAN chameleon that can be transformed to fit different USES. Although e-QBO is autonomous and off-grid, it can still be integrated into the urban context. It is the symbol of smart cities, a beacon of energy, data and information that represents the third millennium with an unmistakable shape”. 

Like something torn straight out of the movie TRON, the e-QBO solar power cube looks like alien and science fictional at first glance. The cube – which is interspersed with glowing blue lines – is covered with integrated photovoltaic panels which it uses to soak up sunlight all day long in order to provide power to nearby buildings. Currently, the only model in circulation is the one above, which is used on an Italian street to power public lighting in the area along with several videomapping installations, a number of cell phone ports and a free WiFi hotspot. The whole project was developed by an organization known as TRED; an innovative Italian firm whose entire purpose is to merge high technology with pleasing design.


That’s where the appearance of e-QBO comes in. It might look pretty unusual, but it also looks right bloody cool, as well. Its designers have referred to it as an ‘architectural chameleon,’ holding that it can be transformed to fit a wide range of different programs and locations. From the looks of things, it also features a modular design; it was turned into an exhibition space showcasing the results of sustainability research at the Milan Innovation Cloud conference. It also played host to a lounge and info point for Research on Energy Systems at the MADE 2013 fair. In terms of more recent shows, the cube’s been selected to represent Italy at Abu Dhabi’s World Future Energy Summit.