may 08 | Modern Design

The 11th hour...and the carbon-conflict; smooth operator

By Dave Vickers

It's those famous tree-hugging eco' architects again, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill with yet another magical mode of harnessing the elements. Not content with the latest mediocre building-integrated wind turbine technology, they have to go and re-invent the whole wind capture thing again, and to top it all it looks amazing!

Certainly not just for show, the design for the Clean Technology Tower - Chicago is certainly an environmental eye-opener, creating a marvel of biomimicry that utilizes site-specific air streams to feed the tower's power-producing dynamos. The giant atrium-style shell of the building employs strategically-located air funnels, drawing air in and maximizing wind velocity. The turbines sandwiched within the structure are literally axle-bent as a result, and coupled with the solar roof cap produce ample power for the intended 1.8-million-square-feet of office space, spa, hotel and retail space below.