Townshift Competition proposal / Paisajes Emergentes

Colombian architects Paisajes Emergentes received second prize for their proposal for the Townshift International Competition in Canada.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

The structure.

Certainly the least interesting thing that a vertical tower can do is to display a welcome sign. Vertical structures can support diverse¨and specialised functions such as communications, energy collection, weather forecasting and are always the most interesting places to experience great views over distant landscapes.

The Fleetwood marker is a dematerialized tower, it is lighter than air and it’s structure ties it to the ground instead of supporting it’s own weight: It is made with clusters of weather balloons filled with helium.

What is interesting about balloons is that with enough cubic meters of helium they can replace traditional static structures based on heavy steel. The tower ends up being lighter than air. It is not a skyscraper, it is more related with a zeppelin or the now common helium balloons used around the world to serve as viewing platforms. It is something that will be affected by the weather, like a vertical cloud, or simply something very strange happening in the sky welcoming the city´s visitors and inviting them to climb up to have a better view of Mount Baker.

The installation: “We drive an astonishing 6.3 billion miles every day in the U.S. If the kinetic energy generated by moving vehicles was captured at any given moment, it could produce enough electricity to power over a quarter million homes each day.” Fraser highway will be covered with a kinetic carpet systems already available. It’s length will be enough to power the installation and some pilot houses in the city with completely clean energy from the pressure of the passing cars. The vertical balloon clusters of the tower will be in correspondence to the horizontal areas of the highways destined to harvest the energy. The electricity generated by the cars movement will illuminate the installation at night showing a contemplative vertical color light show of what is happening on the highway.

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "Townshift Competition proposal / Paisajes Emergentes" 25 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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