Lunar Cubit was designed for Abu Dhabi just outside Masdar City, which will be the world's first zero carbon city. Both art and technology, Lunar Cubit provides solar energy to light up 250 homes, but it also functions as an enormous work of art and a lunar/solar timepiece and calendar.
First-prize winner in the Land Art Generator competition, the Lunar Cubit is nine pyramids made of solar panels that collect the sun's energy in the day and glow at night in a manner that is inversely proportional to the lunar cycle.
In other words, when the moon is full, the Lunar Cubit is dark, and at the new moon, the Lunar Cubit is fully lit. Likewise, it is lit to varying degrees between these two extremes, making for a massive lunar calendar. The structures also serve as a sort of sundial, showing the time of day with their shadows. Below see the shadows at the summer solstice.
What's behind it's name? Lunar is obvious, but "cubit" is the oldest recorded unit of length and was used throughout antiquity, with the oldest cubit being the royal cubit, dating back to the Step Pyramid of Djoser circa 2,700 B.C.
We have also covered the second (Wind Energy without Propellers) and third place (Solar Canopy Capable of Generation 73,000 Megawatt Hours Annually)
winners, which in some ways were actually more technically fascinating. If you've not seen them, do check them out.
To see the full submission and much greater detail, read the full contest submission here.