[tweetmeme source=”@SA_Baxter” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D Landset, the Icelandic company that owns and operates all major electricity transmission lines in Iceland presented designers with a challenge, design a new type of transmission tower. The competition’s goal? To obtain new ideas on how to design their 220kV high-voltage towers and lines. The selection committee explains, “The competitors were free to choose whether all the towers would have a new look, particular towers and selected environments would have a new look, or whether the appearance of known types of towers would be altered. In addition, it was left up to the competitors whether the design would blend into the landscape in rural and urban areas, or the tower/towers would stand out as objects. The main goal of the competition was that a new type of tower/towers would emerge, altering the overall appearance of line routes and that towers could be developed further with respect to environmental impact, the electromagnetic field lifetime and cost.”
New England architectural firm Choi+Shine took on this challenge by presenting the committee with a new design concept with roots in the ancient statues of Easter Island. The design requires only minor alterations to the established steel-framed tower design and could be configured to respond to their environment. Dubbed, The Land of Giants™, the concept is designed to integrate with the surroundings, as well as allow for expression of each individual tower. “The pylon-figures can also be arranged to create a sense of place through deliberate expression. Subtle alterations in the hands and head combined with repositioning of the main body parts in the x, y and z-axis, allow for a rich variety of expressions. The pylon-figures can be placed in pairs, walking in the same direction or opposite directions, glancing at each other as they pass by or kneeling respectively, head bowed at a town” explains the Choi+Shine website.
The possible arrangements of the pylons is endless, but relatively simple to create. Choi+Shine explains, “Each pylon-figure is made from the same major assembled parts (torso, fore arm, upper leg, hand etc.) and uses a library of pre-assembled joints between these parts to create the pylon-figures’ appearance. This design allows for many variations in form and height while the pylon-figures’ cost is kept low through identical production, simple assembly and construction.”
While the design didn’t win the Icelandic competition it was given honorable mention. And was selected as an award winner by the 2010 Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture.