KADK sweeps the board in a Nordic solar cell idea competition

Cooperation and business

KADK students won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes, when the winners of the Nordic idea competition, 'New Solar Cells - New Architecture', were announced at Designmuseum Danmark on 1 November.

New solar cells create new architecture
Thanks to new colours, styles, structures and texture, solar panels constitute and totally different aesthetic than before. Whereas, in the past, solar panels were an application, they are now a building element with new architectural options, even in terms of space and shape.

So, during the summer, Nordic architecture and design students were invited to take on the use of solar cells in the built environment and the countryside in the open idea competition, 'New Solar Panels - New Architecture'.

Winners and judges. Photo: Dorthe Krogh

The return of “whipped cream” architecture
The winning proposal was devised by Karl Emil Koch from KADK’s Institute of Architecture and Culture. His proposal shows how one can use solar cells to reintroduce ornamentation into architecture.

“The poverty of modernist architecture has made us poorer,” says Karl Emil Koch. I am trying to recreate ‘whipped cream architecture’ by using solar panels, which also create energy, absorb light and reduce overheating in the large glass façades we build today.”

The jury’s justification for choosing the proposal as the winner is that it draws on inspiration from Art Deco and the ornamentation of the Baroque period to indicate a new era for decoration in architecture, using solar panels to create various patterns on façades and in windows.

Karl Emil Koch: 'Solar cells as new ornamentation'
Carl Arvidsson: 'City lantern'
Lauge Floris Larsen: 'Glass straw'

Glass straw and the city lantern
Carl Arvidsson, also from KADK’s Institute of Architecture and Culture, won 2nd prize for his proposal, ‘Glass straw’ which drafts a ‘straw roof’ made from optical fibre cables with solar cells on the tips, which reflect light and send it further to solar panels, so it can be stored indoors.

The 3rd prize went to Lauge Floris Larsen from the Institute of Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape for his proposal, ‘The city lantern’, which shows how solar cells can also be used as a communication device. Using LED light in various colours, the solar energy illuminates the night sky and describes sustainability and carbon emissions.

Special commendation also went to Anja Fange and Sebastian Gantz, students at KADK, and a team of students from the Aarhus School of Architecture: Rune Wriedt and Danielle Eskildsen. 

The competition was organised in conjunction with the projects ´PV-Starlight´ and ´Cool PVT´, which are supported by the Danish Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP).

The contest was open to students at any stage of their studies at, and 2016 graduates from architecture and design schools in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

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