Horizon Lines, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Rebecca Borowiecki (University of Colorado)
Artist Location: Boulder, USA
Energy Technologies: Transparent Solar Cell by Onyx Solar®
Annual Capacity: 625 MWh

In its original form in 1909, the Santa Monica Pier was built over a sewage pipe that emptied into the ocean, working to hide the effects of humanity on the environment. Horizon Lines takes this one piece of Santa Monica’s rich and diverse history and turns it upside down. It presents a contemporary counterpoint by creating a transparent energy source on the horizon for all to see, inspired by the form of the pier’s pylons and the shape of a wave.

The project is composed of BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) glass panels the spacing of which is based on the crest and trough of a wave. The panels are spaced more tightly near the end of the pier to create the intensity in the crest of the wave, reflecting and refracting water and sky. The middle portion represents the trough of the wave, where the ocean becomes calm and glass-like. This pattern culminates at the far end with a tightening of the panels to signify the next peak of the wave as it heads toward shore. Walking along the beach or the pier, a visitor experiences different perceptions of the sculpture, like the glint of a wave in morning sun or a crystal-clear view through the panels to the true horizon behind.

Each panel is illuminated with an LED light strip connected to the panel’s individual meter. Through the levels of illumination, visitors will be able to visualize how much energy has been produced.