Combining Infrastructures

A team of French designers are the winners of Metropolis’s 2009 Next Generation competition with their design for a combined electrical-transmission tower and landfill.

"From the window of a TGV hurtling through France, the countryside flattens to a smudge-electrical towers rise and recede in clusters, and tall, lanky wind turbines seem to whip off pirouettes like a young Moira Shearer. Most passengers turn their heads, nodding off on a neighbor or burying their noses in Le Monde, but for a tri­umvirate of young designers, the sight is a view of the future. The passing turbines and pylons augur a new way to harness renewable energy in a country that relies almost entirely on nuclear power. "When we're riding on the train, we al-ways see pylons, and some turbines too," Nic­ola Delon says. "We say, ‘Both are here. Can't we mix them together?'"

Delon, who is 31 and an architect, is the recip­ient of Metropolis's 2009 Next Generation prize, along with Julien Choppin, also a 31-year-old architect, and Raphaël Ménard, a 34-year-old engineer. Their project, Wind-it, addresses this year's theme-which beseeched entrants to "Fix Our Energy Addiction"-with the effortless simpli­city of a Pythagorean proof. The team proposes inserting wind turbines into existing electrical towers or, where infrastructure is broken or spare, building new towers that double as wind-power generators, thus introducing a fount of renewable energy into an aspect of civilization that's as certain as taxes. With three potential sizes, the turbine towers could be integrated nearly anywhere: Lille, France, China's Sichuan Province, or the streets of New York City."

Full Story: Harvesting the Wind

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