Belatchew Arkitekter has presented a concept for transforming high-rise towers into power-generating factories. The Swedish firm's proposal involves covering a Stockholm skyscraper with "electricity-generating bristles". The tower in question is Henning Larsen's Söder Torn tower on Södermalm in Stockholm. Belatchew has designed a wind farm that will top the existing building with a 16-story extension, covering the facade with "hairy-looking plastic straws designed to move with the wind".
Join us after the break for more details and images of this proposal.
The individual plastic bristles operate using piezoelectric technology, which generates electricity through mechanical pressure. This type of technology has been explored in other applications, such as storing energy from the floors of public spaces where the footsteps of hundreds of people per day could generate electricity. In this scenario, air movement and pressure changes at varying altitudes along the skyscraper's facade would harness energy.
This application of piezoelectric technology allows for the flexible application of energy harnessing methods while eliminating restricting factors of other methods in the market today. The small fibers are applicable to a variety of surfaces, replacing bulky and noise-producing technologies like wind turbines that are ill-suited for dense urban environments. In this case, the small bristles can be applied to a residential structure without disturbing the residents.
The Soder Tower was designed by Henning Larsen and built in 1997. It is just sixteen stories short of its intended design. Belatechew Arkitekter propose to resolve this by adding sixteen stories of wind farm, which will also function as a restaurant and viewing platform. This unusual application of fibers along the facade that will move with the wind will make the building seem as if it is "breathing", as explained by the architects.