Riccardo Mariano, an architect based in Berlin, has created an arch topped with photovoltaics known as the Arco del Tiempo (Arch of Time), part of Houston, Texas Bayou Greenways expansion. Commissioned by Land Art Generator Initiative, it is referred to as "the world's largest sundial" and will generate approximately 400,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly in addition to providing shade for nearby locals. Its roof holds tinted glass apertures that project sunrays onto the ground below. Read SURFACES REPORTER (SR)’s complete report below:
The tilted steel structure will be supported by trichord truss arches, rub trusses, and purlins, clad with galvanized metal decking and covered with custom photovoltaic modules.
Financial Freedom from Electricity Bills
The "Arco del Tiempo" public artwork, installed near Guadalupe Plaza Park, will mainly power Talento Bilingue de Houston, a Latino cultural centre. Land Art Generator co-director Robert Ferry declared that the facility will not have to pay any electricity bills in the future with this energy source.
Additionally, extra electricity produced by the artwork will be employed for illumination and other services in Guadalupe Plaza Park. According to Land Art Generator's estimates, the project is expected to generate more than 12 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy throughout its lifetime.
Standing at 30 meters, it will be covered in solar panels capable of providing 400,000 kWh of energy per annum – the same amount used by 40 Texas households, according to Land Art Generator who oversaw the project.
A Sundial with a Modern Twist
The “Arco del Tiempo" resembles a sundial in many ways: however, what sets it apart from these ancient scientific devices is that light, instead of shadow, is used to tell time. This occurs through large openings projecting beams on the ground. The artist related to Artnet News that his work was guided by the idea that “the sun is the source of life on Earth.”
The City of Houston is set to build the "Arco del Tiempo" in 2024, though no formal timeline has been given.
Mayor Sylvester Turner declared that it will signify "a new era of energy," and further promote Houston's artistic identity, as well as its position at the forefront of energy transformation. He released a statement expressing his sentiments regarding the project: “The ‘Arco del Tiempo’ artwork stands in that tradition, highlighting Houston’s role as an art city and as a global leader in the energy transition."
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