Danish practice 3XN has cooperated with the lighting firm, Scotia, to design seven streetlamps for Bella Center in Copenhagen. The project was combining 3XN‘s lamp head with Scotia’s solar cell lamp post, to create the image of latest technology and sculptural expression.
+ Project description courtesy of 3XN
GOTHAM shines a sustainable light over Bella Center, Copenhagen
3XN has designed an innovative LED luminaire, which with the help of a specially developed prism, uses solar energy for efficient street lighting. Seven lamps have just been erected at Bella Center in Copenhagen in conjunction with the upcoming UN Climate Conference.
The advanced technology results in the street lamps generating more energy than they use. Therefore the lamp is an emblem of the Climate Conference ambitions of lowering global CO2 emissions.
Capturing Nordic Light
The streetlamps are a result of the close co-operation between 3XN and the lighting firm, Scotia. The goal was to create a sculptural and CO2 neutral street lighting solution. This was achieved with the combination of 3XNs GOTHAM luminaire and Scotias solar cell lamp post. The lamp post is square and integrates upright standing solar cells which are strategically positioned to capture the Nordic light.
The sculptural lamp head is specially designed for the Scotia lamp post:
The background behind our design for the lamp stems from ideas of Japanese origami and the natural shapes that emerge from geometry. The luminaire contains folds which in addition to being very aesthetic, are very functional – even designed with respect to the wind. The luminaire works in conjunction with the mast to form a very sculptural expression – with a veiled reference to the lamp’s futuristic LED technology.
Kim Herforth Nielsen, Principal at 3XN
GOTHAM is found in several variations, although 3XN is working on a number of other lamp designs that can be combined with the solar cell lamp post. The GOTHAM project has emerged out of 3XNs internal research and development department GXN and combines the newest technology with a very futuristic expression. The development of the LED lamp lies as part of 3XNs natural ambition to be cutting edge in green and innovative design – without compromising aesthetics.
The seven streetlamps are located in Parking Lot 5 at Bella Center’s main entrance and naturally will continue their role after the Climate Conference.
Taking a holistic approach and constantly trying to synthesize design, function and context, the Danish practice 3XN has received much acclaim for the design of numerous cultural, educational and corporate buildings. In order to explore future possibilities of innovation, 3XN has established GXN; an internal department of research and development particularly focusing on so-called intelligent materials, new technologies and sustainability.
About GOTHAM Lamp Head
The luminaire uses LED light technology with a life of up to 50.000 hours. LED is very energy effective, but its outdoor LED use had been difficult to employ due to diffusion control issues. In connection with GOTHAM, the Italian producer EWO developed a specialized prism that is placed in front of the light rays. The prism’s orientation determines the direct and precise diffusion of light.
About the Scotia SunMast
The Scotia mast family integrates highly efficient solar cells into a single, slender form that can either be topped with a street lamp or used on its own to generate power. The mast is designed with excellent low-light behaviour and, contrary to intuition, performs best at northern latitudes. An 8m mast situated in Copenhagen is estimated to save 170kg of CO2 a year, compared to a conventional street lamp.
+ Press release courtesy of Scotia
Newly-launched Danish company Scotia has developed a solar-powered streetlight designed to work in low levels of sunlight, using less energy than it generates and feeding energy back into the power network.
The firm has put its solar-powered outdoor lighting columns under the scrutiny of some of the world’s leading environmentalists at the forthcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference, to demonstrate the feasibility of emissionsfree lighting even at northern latitudes. Some 20,000 people, including government officials from 170 countries, will attend the conference on 6-18 December 2009, aiming to reach an international agreement on climate change that builds on the Kyoto Protocol. It takes place at the city’s Bella Center, where Scotia has been chosen to light the exhibition and conference centre’s grounds and car parks.
Designed for northern latitudes
The Scotia mast family integrates highly efficient solar cells into a single, slender form that can either be topped with a street lamp or used on its own to generate power. The mast is designed with excellent low-light behaviour and, contrary to intuition, performs best at northern latitudes. The masts generate between 80 and 400 kWh a year and are available in heights of 4m, 5m, 7m, 8m and 10m.
An 8m mast situated in Copenhagen is estimated to save 170kg of CO2 a year, compared to a conventional street lamp. The masts are fail-safe, do not rely on batteries or weather conditions, and cut maintenance costs by using stable long-lasting technology with no moving parts.
British light artist Steven Scott set up Copenhagen-based Scotia with private venture funds. The company’s focus is on urban and architectural lighting, designed to help cities and businesses meet environmental targets. The idea grew out of an urban art project in 2006 and the Building Lab of Realdania supported the first product’s development. The Bella Center is Scotia’s first commercial project.
Scotia has been actively supported by a number of top names from the fields of architecture, lighting and solar engineering. The mast was prototyped and engineered by Danish lighting company Riegens and solar cells with low-light sensitivity were specially developed by German giant Q-Cells. The project received additional engineering support by environmental consultants Grontmij Carl Bro.
à Designed independently of the SunMast, the Bella Center luminaire was the result of a collaboration between Scotia, architects 3XN and Italian outdoor lighting specialists EWO. The luminaire was designed by 3XN as a response to the site and in recognition of the importance of the climate agenda. The design takes advantage of high-quality LEDs, directing light only to where it is needed on the ground. The luminaire contains ideas from Japanese origami, which in addition to being highly aesthetic are strictly functional – even with respect to wind loading.
The lamp head works in conjunction with the mast to form a very sculptural expression – with a veiled reference to the lamp’s futuristic LED technology.
Kim Herforth Nielsen, principal of 3XN
Improving PV market
This is exactly the right time to launch a sustainable and innovative lighting technology such as the Scotia Mast that helps public and private organisations meet their economic, ecological and social obligations, the so-called triple bottom line… The price/performance ratio of photovoltaics is improving very rapidly and the benefits of solar power are no longer limited by geography or climate.
Heine Olsen, Scotia’s managing director
Scotia’s launch comes as the world market for photovoltaic (PV) cells is booming. Worldwide PV installations doubled in 2008 to 5.95 gigawatts (GW), with demand led by Spain, Germany, the USA and Korea according to industry monitor Solarbuzz. In June 2009, the United Nations said that worldwide investment in green technologies outstripped the amount put into fossil fuels for the first time in 2008.
Greener street lighting
In addition, demand for greener, more energy-efficient urban lighting is being driven by the necessity of councils and businesses to optimise energy costs; legislation to limit CO2 emissions; public pressure for greener solutions, and governmental strategies to diversify energy sources, including market support programmes that reward users for generating renewable energy. In the UK, where street lighting has been blamed by some councils for more than a quarter of their carbon footprint, a feed-in tariff similar to Germany’s successful measures will be introduced from April 2010.
Some experts also believe the solar photovoltaic industry is close to grid parity, the point at which electricity generated from PV cells and electricity generated by fossil fuels will cost the same. The UK industry’s Renewable Energy Association says this could happen as early as 2013.
+ Project credits / data
Bella Center Streetlighting Project
Client: Bella Center
Lamp head design: 3XN A/S
Solar mast idea and concept: Scotia ApS
Solar mast design: Scotia ApS
Electrical engineering: Grontmij Carl Bro
Installation: Kemp & Lauritzen
Technical supervision: Scenetek
Photographer: Adam Mørk
GOTHAM Lamp Head
Design: 3XN A/S
Lighting consultant: Scotia ApS
Design: Scotia ApS
Manufacturing: Riegens A/S
Solar cell development: Q-Cells