All images by Laura Mesa Arango + Rafael Sanchez Herrera
By looking to Denmark’s long reliance on wind force for the country’s development over time, designers Laura Mesa Arango and Rafael Sanchez Herrera have conceived their proposal – titled ‘The Sound of Denmark’ – for the 2014 edition of Land Art Generator Initiative. Located on Copenhagen’s harbour edge, the project is comprised of 12 viking horn forms which function as ‘compact wind acceleration turbines’ to both generate energy and also produce sounds in co-operation with the structure’s shape. The ‘sound landscape’ allows for public occupation, serving as a place for engagement with environmental forces – wind and sound – while potentially prompting reflection on its impact on society in past, current, and possible future realities.
With a projected annual energy capacity of 117 MWh, the compact wind acceleration turbines function to concentrate wind force and increase its velocity as it passes through each curved tubular form. This air movement interacts with the horn’s shape, which includes an arrangement of holes on the lower portion, to create particular sounds. Specifically, these tones correspond, ‘with letters of the alphabet that refer to natural forces’, including ‘S-U-N’, ‘W-A-T-E-R’, and ‘I-C-E’. Each instrument is elevated above the ground plane by an open scaffolding framework, and accessed by intermittent staircases and platforms.
The viking horn structures are organized in groups of three, resulting in four clusters along the waterfront that each include a large, medium, and small form. The construction of the horn is imagined to utilize wood and metal materials from decommissioned ships. This strategy serves to both reduce environmental costs while creating a physical relationship between the structures and the region’s maritime and industrial legacy.
Through the creation of a ‘sound landscape’, the designers seek to celebrate wind – a force which is significant to the region, as it assisted viking travel centuries ago and currently provides renewable energy.