A new black glass cube is currently located on Hanover Quay.

The ‘5Cube; is the result of an open design competition, run by PIVOT Dublin launched in November 2012, titled ‘Imagine Energy’, which 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 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 solutions 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.

The winning design was created by Declan Scullion of de Siún Scullion Architects. De Siún Scullion Architects are a new Dublin-based practice established in 2014. Both partners, Mícheál de Siún and Declan Scullion, bring a broad range of expertise to their work from their experience with large practices in Ireland and the UK. They have taught at the architecture schools of Queen’s University Belfast and Dublin Institute of Technology.

The design was developed in association with CORA structural engineers and IN2 electrical engineers.