What if architectural innovation involved not making energy-autonomous buildings but rather making wind turbines inhabitable? A Dutch consortium has picked up the challenge and the result is rather audacious!
In Rotterdam people can already live in a market hall. The Markthal Rotterdam, designed by architects from the MVRDV agency and delivered in 2014, is a 120-metre long arch covering the city’s biggest fruit and vegetables market, which houses 200 homes. Tomorrow, Rotterdam’s inhabitants will also be able to choose to live in a wind turbine. A consortium including the architects’ studio DoepelStrijkers is going to install a huge windmill in the port city, housing a hotel and flats.
A power station, an architectural icon, a tourist attraction… the “Dutch Windwheel”, which will rise to 174 metres, will be a new kind of building. Wheel-shaped, it generates all the energy it needs. The wind that goes through the centre of the building is used both to be transformed into electricity and to cool the infrastructures. The solar energy is captured by the transparent organic materials. Its cladding is able to transform the solar energy into electricity, while letting the natural light through. Finally, the circular shape also symbolises an inherent working logic: collected at the top, the rainwater will be used inside the structure. Even the organic waste will be re-used: to manufacture biofuels.
Eiffel Tower of the 21st century
Far from fantasy, the project has already been well endorsed. This giant turbine recently obtained all the authorisations required to rise from the waters. The building with the two rings has also attracted several hotel groups. Rotterdam with thus have its Eiffel Tower of the 21st century, between 2020 and 2025.