Turning Transmission Towers into Giant People
Power to the people! Giant transmission tower people that is… We can all agree that transmission towers (that’s an electricity pylon or ironman for you European and Aussie folk) are very necessary yet completely unsightly. These suspension towers dot our landscapes, typically soaring 15-55 meters (49 – 180 ft) high.
If we have to live with them, why not turn them into something both functional and artistic? This was the sentiment of American design firm Choi+Shine Architects, who submitted the concept to Iceland’s ‘High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition”.
The concept, dubbed ‘The Land of Giants‘, sought to transform mundane transmission towers into statues on the Icelandic landscape by making only small alterations to existing pylon design.
The Land of Giants by Choi + Shine Architects
“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.” – Choi+Shine Architects
“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.” – Choi+Shine Architects
“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.” – Choi+Shine Architects
“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.” – Choi+Shine Architects
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