Architecture and design firm Choi+Shine submitted this design–The Land of Giants–for the Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition in 2008. The Land of Giants didn’t win, but it did receive an honorable mention. And recently won the Boston Society of Architects 2010 award for Unbuilt Architecture.
According to Choi+Shine, the architects, who I assume have small rectangular glasses and static-shock haircuts, heavy on the gel:
“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 … an unforgettable experience.”
“Like the statues of Easter Island …. 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.”
And not only like the statues of Easter Island, but the sculptures of Giacometti and the art of Burning Man, but ideally without the fire.
With respect to the 2010 Award, I’m guessing that “unbuilt architecture” is a popular design category these days. But unlike residential mixed-use developments, demand for new electric transmission lines is high. And so is opposition, usually on visual grounds.
We should be looking at new design ideas, like this, and shifting the debate from flat opposition to discussions about pylon posture. Power developers could threaten eminent domain holders with wires suspended from outsized middle fingers. Farmers could debate the relative impacts of one foot on the ground versus two on combine turning radii. The possibilities are endless.