Imagine living in an apartment building resembling a hybrid of a nautilus and a Dyson table fan. Beyond the aesthetics which looks like it came out of a Star Trek episode, the Dutch Windwheel’s appearance actually serves the function of utilizing wind energy. How appropriate that those resourceful folks in the Land of Windmills would conceptualize this radical design.
Striving to obtain complete sustainability, this motionless wind turbine would house 72 apartments within a round steel and glass frame, while also harvesting alternate energy from the sun with the installation of assorted solar PVs, as well as the bio gas produced by the residents’ organic waste. The structure will also be equipped to capture rainwater and recycle tap water.
The concept is destined for Netherlands' port city of Rotterdam, where it is surrounded by wetlands and would have an underground foundation, giving it the illusion of floating. It consists of an inner and outer ring. In addition to containing 72 apartments, 160 hotel rooms, and commercial space within the inner ring, the outer ring has 40 rotating cabins giving visitors spanning views much like the UK’s London Eye. Or one can enjoy dining atop the entire structure in the rooftop restaurant.
There’s no need to worry about endangering birds either with this motionless, bladeless design. Thanks to the electrostatic wind energy converter (EWICON), the Windwheel “converts wind energy with a framework of steel tubes into electricity without moving mechanical parts.” The result is a structure that is quiet and low maintenance.
The Dutch developers (a collective of Rotterdam-based companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers, Meysters and NBTC Holland Marketing) will use this structure as a “dynamic showcase for Dutch Clean Technology”. Demonstrating creative innovations, the Windwheel is a quite the update on the traditional windmills of the Nederlands.