Design firm Choi+Shine Architects imagine a world in which our electrical lines are carried by ethereal figures towering overhead.
We don’t often think of power-pylons–the massive metal braces which hold aloft industrial chords and wires–as works of art. Necessary byproducts of our interconnected world, maybe. But art? Not likely.
That may soon change when design firm Choi+Shine Architects begin construction on their Land of Giants™ project, a massive re-imagining of the ordinary electrical towers which conspicuously dot our landscapes. Originally conceived in 2008 for Iceland’s Landsnet power transmission company, the pylon Giants are intended to meld form and function, transforming unsightly industrial fixtures into ethereal human forms which tower up to one hundred and fifty feet overhead.
Designed to be constructed modularly, the Giants can be configured to accommodate a variety of poses, based on both aesthetic, and topographical considerations. As Choi+Shine explains:
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 preassembled 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.
Since 2008, plans to transfer the Land of Giants project from drawing board to real world have suffered a number of setbacks, although the design concept has gone on to receive a number of honors, including one of the Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture Awards in 2010. Construction on the first Giant is now scheduled to begin in Iceland in 2017.
While Choi+Shine may not be the only designers to tap the artistic power of giant figures in our everyday lives, their Land of Giants project is a unique example of seeing the potential for monumental beauty in something most people otherwise might consider nothing more than an industrial nuisance. Writes the firm:
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.