A new intriguing black glass-clad cube installation is animating the heart of the Dublin Docklands in Hanover Quay. The 5Cube is the result of an open design competition, run by PIVOT Dublin and launched in November 2012. Titled, ‘Imagine Energy’, the competition sought proposals for a one-of-a-kind design for a smart energy feature which will inform and educate the public about renewable energy. The competition was promoted by Dublin City Council and their energy agency CODEMA. The winning design was created by Declan Scullion of de Siún Scullion Architects, a new Dublin-based architectural practice established in 2014. The design was developed in association with CORA structural engineers and IN2 electrical engineers. It was installed during EU Sustainability Week and officially launched on the 19 June by Naoise O’Muiri and Ali Grehan.
The starting point for the 5CUBE is the volume of oil consumed in Ireland per day and divides that into a smaller portion of time, in this case 5 minutes worth of oil consumption, which relates to 473 barrels, or a 4.2m cubic volume. The ambition of the installation is to make statistics both physical and tangible.
The box glows internally – powered by roof mounted photovoltaic panels, energy efficient LED lights illuminate a mirrored interior. On one side, an opening into the cube reveals a giant kaleidoscope reflecting the sky above to form a giant globe, with a link to sources of more information. To the opposite side, a giant periscope reflects a clear view of the sky overhead – providing a constant reminder of the powerful skies above us and our constantly changing weather – the source of so much of renewable resources: solar power, wind power and in turn tidal energy, wave energy and biomass fuels.
The 5CUBE is designed so that it can be dismantled and relocated easily in any location; no foundations are needed due to an ingenious internal ballasting solution using sand that can be reused elsewhere upon completion. The idea is that the installation might appear in various public places literally overnight, and disappear again shortly thereafter. It is also self–sufficient in its power consumption via the rooftop photovoltaic panels.
5CUBE was one of the investments of the ACE project, funded by the European Regional Development funding through the INTERREG IVB NWE programme. The project is being implemented across five north western European Countries by nine partners. The aim of the project is to demonstrate and promote the increased use of renewable energy among local authorities, businesses and citizens in NWE.