Celebrating the Sun
Submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Copenhagen design competition

Artist Team: Sturla Sandsdalen, Knut Helge Teppan
Artist Location: Oslo, Norway
Energy Technologies: heliostatic photovoltaic panels

The sun is the origin of all life and energy on our planet. It has spawned myths, awe, and wonder throughout history and defines every day and every year of every person on our planet.

Celebrating the Sun is an art installation that connects us to the sun by reflecting its movements through the sky. Visitors can experience the slow movements and changing geometry of the installation with slow changes during the day and subtle adjustments during the year.

The installation consists of a large structural arch along the length of which moves a solar panel trolley, driven by an electric engine and powered by the solar panel itself. The movement of the trolley is a three-dimensional representation of the sun’s path across the sky over the course of a day. Tension cables tilt the entire arch up or down slightly each day to maintain the seasonal rhythm and match the height of the sun in the sky. All electric components and mechanisms are hidden inside the arch or in installations on the ground, achieving a clean and elegant expression.

The arch has a radius of 30 meters, making it clearly visible on the other side of the water. It will reach its highest angle of 57.71° on June 21. From there, it will slowly lower itself to 10.96° on December 21.

The arch and its solar panel are fitted with LED lights to mark the times and days related to the sun and the seasons.

The area surrounding the installation is used for urban gardening. Horticulturalists will be assisted in their seasonal planning with daily reference to the angle of the artwork—a solar clock of sorts.