Landscape architects Gustafson Porter has been named one of six finalists in a bid to redesign the British electricity pylon.
Gustafson Porter’s pylon design, called ‘Flower Tower’, is heavily influenced by organic shapes, such as birds in flight and the gently curving forms of flowers and plant life. The practice is collaborating with structural engineers Atelier One on the project, to design a tower constructed from modular kit of parts that can be easily transported and assembled, and can adapt to different power distribution requirements across varying landscapes in the UK.
‘Flower Tower’ is made of six identical blades that form a single stem, and each of the six ‘leaves’ that carry the high tension cables is identical in its straight section, curved radius and tapered end piece. A blade at the top of the flower holds the earth wire.
Mary Bowman, Director at Gustafson Porter said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be part of the next stage of this competition. Our design evolved from understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the existing lattice work pylon, using this knowledge to create a new design that fits sensitively within the UK countryside. Flower Tower moves away from the industrial image of the pylon to form an organic, evocative silhouette that matches elegance with practicality.”
RIBA, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and National Grid, launched the competition in May this year.
All shortlisted designs are now on show in the ‘A Pylon for the Future’ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is part of the London Design Festival until 5 October 2011.