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Pylon Design


The Land of Giants™

Award Winner
2010 Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture

Design Recognition Award
2008 Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition

Finalist
The 36th Annual Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition

"The 'Land of Giants' is a poem for the eyes."
Elmar Burchia, Corriere Della Sera, Aug 17, 2010
(Additional press coverage...)

This design transforms mundane electrical pylons into statues on the Icelandic landscape by making only small alterations to existing pylon design.

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All images and designs © 2008 - 2011 Choi+Shine Architects, LLC. All rights reserved.

The pylon figures in Iceland, showing variation in position.



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.

Male and female pylon figure animation.
land of gaints animation
Initial sketches.

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.

The pylon-figures in Iceland, showing variation in position.


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.

Some of the variations in the figures' posture possible with the design.

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.

Female and male pylon-figures.

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.

A marching series.

Icelandic selection committee’s competition report.
“These designs were submitted as a competition entry in March of 2008 to Landsnet, Iceland national power transmission company who was working in collaboration with the Association of Icelandic Architects. The competition’s goal was to obtain new ideas in types and appearances for 220kV high-voltage towers and lines. The competition emphasized that specific consideration be given to the visual impact of the towers (or lines) and that careful consideration be given to the appearance of towers near urban areas and unsettled regions.

“The competitors were free to choose whether all the towers would have a new look, particular towers and selected environments would have a new look, or whether the appearance of known types of towers would be altered. In addition, it was left up to the competitors whether the design would blend into the landscape in rural and urban areas, or the tower/towers would stand out as objects.

“The main goal of the competition was that a new type of tower/towers would emerge, altering the overall appearance of line routes and that towers could be developed further with respect to environmental impact, the electromagnetic field lifetime and cost.

“The competition was advertised in Iceland and abroad.
-adapted from the selection committee’s competition report, 2008
Project Details.
Project Type High-Voltage Pylon Competition
Location Iceland
Type of Client Landsnet, a public company that owns and runs the electrical transmission system in Iceland where 80% of the electricity is from green sustainable sources, such as geothermal power.
New or Renovation New - Pylon design competition.
Special constraints & site description The pylons were intended to be constructible, affordable and durable.
Design challenges & solutions We sought to make an iconic, unforgettable pylon, that created an identity for Iceland and the power company.
Original/Adaptation The design is original.
Unusual/innovative building components Each structure is composed of a kit of parts, minimizing construction costs.
Sustainable design elements The structure is predominantly recyclable.
Material use Steel, glass and concrete.
Completion date 2008
Others involved None
Designed by Jin Choi & Thomas Shine, Choi+Shine Architects.
Intellectual Property Rights Gill Jenning & Every LLP
Additional information & images Please contact Choi+Shine Architects
Land of Giants is a trademark of Choi+Shine Architects, LLC.
 


© Copyright 1999-2010 Choi + Shine Architects LLC. Brookline, MA. All rights reserved.