Collaboration between professions can yield new, uncharted perspectives that lead to fresh ideas and in doing so, Grimshaw Architects has pushed the boundaries of what the perceived role of an architect actually is. With international engineering firm ARUP, Grimshaw has helped to design a new conceptual model of an offshore wind turbine dubbed the Aerogenerator X. The design is not only an example of what complimentary industries can accomplish together, but how the face and appearance of sustainability can be re-imagined beyond the icons that we are used to.
Recently released in an article on architecture website Dezeen, the design images bear the feel of an architect’s depiction. With their main offices based in Britain, Grimshaw worked for local company Wind Power Limited as part of an 18 months study to find new solutions for meeting England’s goals for renewable energy. The article goes on to explain how the function of a traditional turbine puts downward stress on the structure due to its point of rotation–a condition designers attempted to reduce while being able to scale up the production capacity of new offshore installations.
The Aerogenerator X is slated to be 55 meters shorter than plans for a comparable horizontal axis wind turbine, but carries a 270 rotational wingspan that helps drive it’s 10 MW capacity. Apparently the new concept could produce twice as much power as the current model used by Wind Power Limited yet weigh half as much. It would appear that the design helps keep the center of gravity lower near the water surface which may fair better in rough conditions out at sea.
Searching for the opportunities of interconnections between industries can bring our professional landscape more towards one based on an ecological model. It is no surprise that things like cost savings, material reduction and increased efficiency can arise when solutions are sought beyond a narrow view of hyper-specialization to include other industries with different tools that are only a short jump away.
Photo Credits: Dezeen.com