Thursday Salute to Originals: Massive Power Delivery

If the architectural firm Choi + Shine had its way, we soon may see giants walking the Earth while delivering electricity. These Boston-based architects submitted their proposal, called The Land of Giants, to Landsnet as part of its High-Voltage Pylon Competition. Landsnet operates the high-voltage electrical grid of Iceland and awarded Choi + Shine an Honorable Mention for their submission. Since it’s not actually being realized throughout the Icelandic country side, this concept won the 2010 Unbuilt Architecture competition by the Boston Society of Architects.

The proposal involves building human-shaped, high-voltage power pylons in place of the current, mundane lattice-steel design seen prevalent between cities today. Many of these ordinary pylons already faintly resemble human shapes and are even call “ironmen” in Australia. The kit-based construction for The Land of Giants requires only minimal alterations to current designs and would have the advantage of being identical and simple to produce and assemble.

Ranging up to 150ft. tall, these designs would become gigantic sculptures and even avail themselves to a wide range of shapes and poses depending on the terrain. While going up hills, the figures would “struggle” under the effort; entering a town, they would kneel down to “physically deliver” the power to communities; when side by side, the pylons could interact, “waving” or “casting glances” each others’ way. The poses would be achieved by using pre-fabricated joints specific for each design. Even gender specific models are available and when placed together would highlight cooperation between men and women. By posing the pylons, the architects have given these leviathans a sense of personality and living movement besides illustrating the human endeavors that go behind our modern societies.

Choi + Shine wrote that, “[t]hese 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.” We at GPI appreciate the thought and planning that go into turning the practical structures of our day into objects of beauty, whimsy, and awe.

Image credits: Choi + Shine