CPH Post


A giant duck and a cloud structure: plans for the capital's waters

Two projects could soon change the character of the water around Copenhagen

Head for the hills – It's Duckzilla! (Photo: Land Art Generator Initiative – Hareth Pochee, Adam Khan, Louis Leger, Patrick Fryer) N

July 23, 2014

by Lawrence Shanahan

Solar duck

If you happen to find yourself taking a stroll around Copenhagen in a few years and see a massive duck floating on the water, don’t worry, it’s not here to terrorise the city.  

A recent submission to the 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative Design competition, held in Copenhagen this year, is actually an ‘Energy Duck’ that would act as both a solar collector and a buoyant energy storage device.

More than just a duck
The proposed sculpture would have an exterior of photovoltaic (PV) panels used to convert solar radiation into electricity.

It would then use hydro turbines as a means of exporting this electricity to the national grid. 

"When stored energy needs to be delivered, the duck is flooded through one or more hydro turbines to generate electricity, which is transmitted to the national grid by the same route as the PV panel-generated electricity," explains the design team.

The duck would then use solar energy to pump the water back out of the duck, bringing it back to the surface.

"The floating height of the duck indicates the relative cost of electricity as a function of city-wide use: as demand peaks the duck sinks."

The landmark, which would be located near the famous Little Mermaid statue, would also feature a visitor centre where people could see the complex design of solar panels, as well as the changing water levels in the pressure storage tanks beneath them. 

“Energy Duck is an entertaining, iconic sculpture, a renewable energy generator, a habitable tourist destination, and a celebration of local wildlife,” wrote the London-based design team. 

The idea is still being developed and no concrete plans have been made, but even if the 'energy duck' never comes to be, there's always the 'House of Peace'. 

Symbol of peace

Danish firm Svendborg Architects will be collaborating with Japanese architect Junya Ishigami to build a cloud-like structure in Nordhavn harbour.

It was commissioned by Denmark's Hope Foundation, an organisation that promotes peace and coexistence. 

(Photo: Svendborg Architects)

"House of Peace creates an environment where people can open up to think of peace. It takes one back to the purity of being – ready to embrace the world," explained the architecture team in a statement. 

Visitors will be able to board circular boats to paddle around within the massive structure, where they will be invited to lose themselves in peaceful simplicity of the cloud-like structure.