This year’s design competition for a large scale work of regenerative art for St Kilda Triangle was hosted and sponsored by the State of Victoria as part of their Renewable Energy Action Plan. The competition calls for large-scale works of public art that also produce clean energy. Melbourne, already one of the most sustainable cities in the world, is targeting net-zero by 2020.
The first-place winning design is a perfect example of this new socially-relevant approach to clean energy infrastructure. Light Up by NH Architecture incorporates solar, wind, and microbial fuel cell technologies to produce 2,220 MWh of clean energy annually for St Kilda in the City of Port Phillip, or enough to power nearly 500 Australian homes.
Second place went to Seattle’s Olson Kundig for Night & Day, a Hydro-Solar Generator that combines solar energy with a hydro battery to produce 1,000 MWh annually for St Kilda in the City of Port Phillip. Their land art generator artwork is capable of operating 24 hours a day.
That two such highly-acclaimed firms—selected by an anonymous jury—are this year’s winners suggests to LAGI co-founders Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry that the tide is shifting within the established design community to support a strongly integrated approach to the design of a post-carbon future where the lines are blurring between the old silos of art, design, applied sciences, architecture, landscape architecture, and civil engineering.
“Light Up and Night & Day are power plants where you can take your family for a picnic. They both show how beauty and clean energy can come together to create the sustainable and resilient infrastructure of the future city. These artworks are cultural landmarks for the great energy transition that will be visited by generations in the future to remember this important time in human history.”
“Swings”, A submission to the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2018 Competition for Melbourne. TEAM: Lu Chao, Weng Shenxia TEAM LOCATION: Guangzhou, China ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES: thin-film photovoltaic, kinetic wind harvesting (with human assist) ANNUAL CAPACITY: 1,200 MWh.
Thanks to the State’s support, the Light Up team will receive $16,000 in prize money, and the runners-up will receive $5,000. Another 23 teams were shortlisted and are on display in an exhibit in the Atrium of Federation Square through October 18, then again at Acland Street Plaza in St Kilda from October 19–27.
While there is no guarantee that an outcome of LAGI 2018 will be constructed at St Kilda Triangle, public support for the project may lead to its incorporation as a part of the larger co-design process currently underway for the site. Energy Overlays, the LAGI 2018 publication, released this October 2018 by Hirmer Publishers, features the top 50 submissions to the competition along with essays on the renewable energy transition. Source and images Courtesy of LAGI.
Article by Marco Rinaldi