Viktor Westerdahl

‘Temple to Wind and Flowers.’

This prototype is an attempt to prove the real potentials of a seemingly impossible architectural proposition. From a narrative starting point, this architectural proposition developed for an array of vertical garden towers in the City of London, which are able to generate electric power through wind induced movement. At the heart of the system is a different perception of structural stability.

Rather than attempting to resist deformation the primary structure incorporates elastic motion, like a tree bending in the wind. This approach could potentially lessen requirements for structural strength, especially in high-rise construction, as forces such as wind loads and earth movements can be transferred to the motion of the structure itself.

The transfer of kinetic energy has further benefits as it can be transformed into electricity. The load bearing structure incorporates an emerging technological application for energy harvesting known as the piezoelectric effect. It generates electricity from deformation in engineered ceramic discs. Applications for the technology exist at a smaller scale, but this architectural proposition envisages a kinetic high-rise structure functioning as an urban power station.

To enable seasonal inhabitation of the kinetic structure, there is a locking mechanism of folding panels. In its elastic state, these panels are vertical and act as wind catching surfaces and a facade of gardens. When the panels are folded horizontally the structure is locked in a stable state and the panels form inhabitable rooms and public gardens.

In collaboration with CJ Lim, Bernd Felsinger, Simon Dickens, James O’Leary and Dirk Krolikowski with technical assistance provided by Damian Eley from Arup

Exhibition at University College London

Prototype tower

Locking mechanism

The Temple to Wind and Flowers in the City of London

Detail of the City