'World's largest sundial' could generate nearly 400,000 kWh of electricity every year

The project, called the Arch of Time, will stand 100 feet tall and generate enough solar power every year to offset 40 Texans' home energy use.
John Loeffler
The Arch of Time as it will look in Houston, TX
The Arch of Time as it will look in Houston, TX

Land Art Generator Initiative 

Berlin architect Riccardo Mariano has designed an innovative new project for the city of Houston, Texas, that will generate nearly 400,000 kWh of electricity every year while acting as a public sundial.

The project, named the Arco del Tiempo (Arch of Time), will be a 100-foot-tall triumphal archway that will serve as the gateway to the city’s East End, part of the Second Ward district for the city. It will have a roof covered in photovoltaic modules to produce electricity as well.

A renewable energy power plant

“This unique artwork is more than a sculpture,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. “It is a renewable energy power plant. It is a monument to a new era of energy.” “The City of Houston has always stood at the vanguard of energy innovation and the Arco del Tiempo (Arch of Time) artwork stands in that tradition, highlighting Houston’s role as an art city and as global leader in the energy transition. We are inspired by the vision and creative thinking. Marrying clean energy, the built environment, and truly World Class art is Houston.”

The architectural project is the result of dedicated work by the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), a non-profit organization advancing solutions to the climate crisis with innovative designs that merge functionality with art.

Since 2008, LAGI has regularly called for international competitions in cities around the world that generate designs demonstrating that climate solutions can be beautiful as well as useful. The Arch of Time was one such design, part of the LAGI 2019 competition for Houston’s sister city, Abu Dhabi, but it was Houston that has decided to build the project in the end.

“It was a pleasure to be part of the LAGI competition in 2019, and we’re very excited to be seeing the winning entry come to life—particularly in Abu Dhabi’s sister city,” said Chris Wan, associate director of sustainability and corporate social responsibility at Masdar City, an innovation hub in UAE that the 2019 competition was originally held for. “We know that public art plays a significant role in the fabric of a city, and Arco del Tiempo is so much more than public art: it will also educate the public about sustainability while celebrating and advocating for it. It’s a powerful combination. I hope to see more art like it in the cities of the future.”

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board