This offshore wind turbine is also an apartment

Posted by Pete Danko, EarthTechling

To that EarthTechling commenter who frequently inveighs against wind power structures as “visual intrusions … wind skyscrapers on landscapes and seascapes,” dude, this isn’t for you. Then again, if you’re perched atop one, maybe a giant wind turbine doesn’t look so bad.

Yep, turning turbines – offshore ones specifically – into apartments is the conceptoffered up by MorphOcode, which describes itself (fittingly, I’d say) as an “interdisciplinary architectural playground.” Their “Wind Turbine Loft” idea, featured recently on Gizmag, is definitely outside the norm.

wind turbine loft

image via Morphocode

It’s a concept that treats offshore wind turbines a bit like modern incarnations of the fire lookout tower, although instead of the typically solitary existence of the forest watcher – think Kerouac accumulating wisdom alone atop Desolation Peak in the Cascades in 1956 – it sees groups of turbine technicians making use of the living spaces built into large turbine nacelles of the future. Here’s MorphOcode’s rationale:

As offshore wind turbines increase dramatically in size, the need for expert monitoring becomes more and more important. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines distributed over a large body of water: endless arrays of turbine towers create a surreal grid in a lonely landscape. This odd and isolated site often remains hidden in the vastnest of the aquatic realm – seen only by the few, who are destined to serve the long lasting swing of the white giants. Wind Turbine Loft is a concept that proposes the installation of a residential unit within the volume of the nacelle that would provide constant shelter for a group of technicians taking care of the functional integrity of the turbine.

wind turbine loft

image via Morphocode

Not that some hard-assed critique of the concept is in order – it’s the vision that’s interesting, not the practicality – but does the need for monitoring grow as the turbines become larger? Anyway, undoubtedly the distant future for wind power isfarther out at sea, making onsite technicians handy if not absolutely necessary. But if it does come to pass, one thing we will not stand for is any complaints about turbine noise or flicker. Part of the job!

* Pete Danko, EarthTechling