Friday, 20 August 2010
CHOI & SHINE ARCHITECTS
This post is not that relevant to my research (or is it? - I suppose this could be classed as "Land Art"?) but felt I had to post it on here. It is great to see that some countries can incorporate great design into the most mundane of necessary objects. The Architects Choi & Shine must be congratulated for there vision in making the common electricity pylon a thing of beauty - "Land of Giants".
Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable. These iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape. Seeing the pylon-figures will become an unforgettable experience, elevating the towers to something more than merely a functional design of necessity.
The pylon-figures can be configured to respond to their environment with appropriate gestures. As the carried electrical lines ascend a hill, the pylon-figures change posture, imitating a climbing person. Over long spans, the pylon-figure stretches to gain increased height, crouches for increased strength or strains under the weight of the wires.
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.
Despite the large number of possible forms, 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.
Like the statues of Easter Island, it is envisioned that these one hundred and fifty foot tall, modern caryatids will take on a quiet authority, belonging to their landscape yet serving the people, silently transporting electricity across all terrain, day and night, sunshine or snow.
“These designs were submitted as a competition entry in March of 2008 to Landsnet, Iceland national power transmission company who was working in collaboration with the Association of Icelandic Architects. The competition’s goal was to obtain new ideas in types and appearances for 220kV high-voltage towers and lines. The competition emphasized that specific consideration be given to the visual impact of the towers (or lines) and that careful consideration be given to the appearance of towers near urban areas and unsettled regions.
“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.
“The competition was advertised in Iceland and abroad.
-adapted from the selection committee’s competition report, 2008