Leave it to Iceland to have serene beauty such as this. The design firm, Choi + Shine Architects, came up with this, The Land of Giants an attempt to transform “mundane electrical pylons into statues on the Icelandic landscape by making only small alterations to existing pylon design.” These designs were submitted as a competition entry in “March of 2008 to Landsnet, Iceland national power transmission company who was working in collaboration with the Association of Icelandic Architects.”
At the time, Choi + Shine wrote, “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.”
From the selection committee itself, “The competition’s goal was to obtain new ideas in types and appearances for 220kV high-voltage towers and lines. The competition emphasized that specific consideration be given to the visual impact of the towers (or lines) and that careful consideration be given to the appearance of towers near urban areas and unsettled regions.
“The competitors were free to choose whether all the towers would have a new look, particular towers and selected environments would have a new look, or whether the appearance of known types of towers would be altered. In addition, it was left up to the competitors whether the design would blend into the landscape in rural and urban areas, or the tower/towers would stand out as objects.
“The main goal of the competition was that a new type of tower/towers would emerge, altering the overall appearance of line routes and that towers could be developed further with respect to environmental impact, the electromagnetic field lifetime and cost.”
The capacity for human ingenuity is remarkable. Even the more utilitarian and mundane things can be redesigned to be beautiful - yet still just as function. I’d love to see this trend catch on elsewhere in the world.