This is a proposal for which we won the Daimler Benz Prize Smart Futre Minds Award. It is a transportation-meeting-informal urban life hub which is placed very close to the most representative public space of the city. A place that is vibrant of everyday life activities, that is astonishingly illuminated , that not only gives service but celebrates the diverse situations that are going to take place in it. Having a packed lunch, waiting for friends, meeting to go somewhere else or waiting for a bus or a taxi are marvellous activities that hundreds or thousands of people will be engaged with in


But also, new things could be added to enlighten the time spent there: why not giving the opportunity for informal events to take place? Why not giving the tools to quickly organize a concert, a theatrical representation, a speech, a puppets show? The problem of vandalism in public services shouldn’t be a reason to impoverish

the use of the public space; it is possible to solve through design the inherent problems of, for example, giving the opportunity to a local band to “plug in “ their instruments to a sound system that is permanently placed in the square. The problem of vandalism of public services would be part of a subsequent stage of design.



The potential to inform thousands of people about environmental issues is an opportunity that should not be neglected. Through the creation of a device that converts wind energy into electric energy to lighten the square people will be able to establish the relationship between the strength of the wind and the intensity of the light that is locally produced. Also, this device would be the first major application in the world of a new system of capturing the energy of the wind called Windbelt.


Finally, the lighting system is colour coordinated with a garden of hanging pots of Marguerite Daisies (Argyranthemum frutescens) the national flower of Denmark (which is where a first prototype was to be placed).

GilBartolome Copenhagen

The lighting of the Square is divided in two Systems:


  1. Wind responsive lighting device.

  2. Basic Lighting to achieve a minimum general lighting condition.




  1. Wind responsive lighting device.


This device consists of a series of frames that support Windbelt panels. Each panel is connected to four 25W linear fluorescent lights above the square. There will be regions of the square that will be more illuminated than others depending on the position of the windbelt panel and the power of the wind at a precise moment. The variable intensity of the wind will be visible through the intensity of the light that is emitted in the square, signalling the areas that are more stricken by the wind.



The low energy fluorescent lights are suspended from the steel cable network and are protected with an anti vandalism case. The colour of the light of each fluorescent lamp will vary according to its relative position to the system of Marguerite Daisies that are positioned, also according to their colour in the square, creating an abstract relationship between light, colour and smell..

The Windbelt technology


The dissipation of wind energy into electricity eliminates the negative impact of wind currents in the functionality of the square. On the other hand, thanks to this conversion of energy, the wind will be still visible through light.


The Windbelt™ technology is based in a tensioned membrane (undergoing a flutter oscillation to pull energy from the wind. This relies on an aerodynamic phenomenon known as aeroelastic flutter . Each panel has a series of membranes that oscillate with the power of the wind and transform the energy of the wind into electric current.


Each panel has an electrical conductor and a  magnetic field generator which is attached to the membrane and configured to move with the membrane (Fig.4). The vibration of the membrane caused by the fluid flow causes a relative movement between the electrical conductor and the applied magnetic field (Fig.5). The relative movement causes a change in the strength of the magnetic field applied to the electrical conductor, and the change in the strength of the magnetic field applied to the electrical conductor induces a current flowing in the conductor.


Fig.4. Illustration of an exemplary orientation of permanent magnets and the generated field thereof.


The energy produced from the Windebelt panels can be stored in batteries, specially that which is produced during the day. The stored energy can be used to provide power to projectors, screens or any other outputs such as sound systems or any other installation that is necessary for the realization of  public activities at the squre.

  1. Basic Lighting to achieve a minimum general lighting condition.


A part of the wind energy is stored in conventional batteries to lit the square with the specifications that are given in the brief to a minimum general lighting of 10 lux. For this purpose suspended lamps are Københavnerarmatur HDS / SDS Københavnerarmatur of 1975 of 46 cm. They are suspended 3.50 m above the ground.

3.Urban life.  



“The square must be conducive to relatively informal urban life: a break on a bench to eat a packed lunch; a place to meet for no specific purpose.” Competition brief.


This concept of urban life requires flexibility in the possibilities that the architecture has to offer and robustness in terms of durability, absence of maintenance and resilience of the systems and materials used.


The possibilities of use are suggested as follows, although a further stage of development of these ideas will clarify the viability and properness of the possibilities.

These are suitable in principle:


Performance, Informal theatre, Photobooth, Projection of image-sound, Fast food eating, Candle light fast food dinner, Quick lunch, Jukebox, Ping pong, Soft playground

Storytelling, Projection screen, Publicity, Speakers corner, Confy lounge among others

The commercial units that surround the squareare the main contributors to the way in which the square will be used. The space arrangement proposed deals with this issue in a twofold manner:


– Giving service to the commercial units around by the implementation of big hanging tables where is possible to wait, rest, have a coffee, have lunch, relax, lay down or engage in different activities.

– Liberating the main square of these activities.


At the same time, the south and western side of the square are arranged as a transportation hub were buses, taxis, bicycles, motorbikes, electric cars, business cars and cycle give service to customers.


-The stainless steel and steel cable structure.


The square is partially covered with a network of steel cables that support the light device, a hanging garden of Marguerite Daisies, three big tables that condensate the activities of the square and other services and/or equipment that will be needed.


They are placed 4 m above the ground



-The hanging “multitask tables”


We propose three big tables that will serve as a tool to organize the informal meeting of people to do different activities.  They are hanged from the main network of cables and anchored to the ground. They are resistant enough to hold the weight of people walking on them so they can vary their typology from table to plinth to floor to scenario.

One of the most problematic issues on this competition is the organization of the traffic of vehicles and pedestrians. We have opted for creating a long strip along Vester Voldgade that houses parking spaces for tourist buses, taxis, business cars, etc… Bicycles have their route through the square on a strip placed just behind, with access to the bicycle underground parking and to 120 surface parking slots disseminated along the lanes.


The existing pedestrian route that naturally serves the commerce around the square is maintained as it is now, keeping the pavement and the trees but reconsidering and/or refurbishing the rest of the elements that serve the public space such as seats and lamp posts.


The rest of the surface of the square is accessible only for pedestrians and fire brigades in case of necessity. The access of the fire brigade to the surrounding buildings is also guaranteed in the event of a fire.