26 June 2015

Wheel of the Future

Written by Published in Architecture

Thinking beyond traditional windmills, Rotterdam will showcase the future of wind energy

The Dutch Windwheel aims to be an iconic architectural design involving numerous technical, technological and energy-generating innovations, whilst being user friendly at the same time.

The idea was born out of discussions about Rotterdam’s rise and how the city could really use an iconic attraction. From the start, the goal was to combine that with ideas for a 100% sustainable building, a platform for all kinds of technical and technologic innovations.

An important aspect of the Dutch Windwheel is the use of EWICON technology, which was developed by a consortium including the TU Delft and Wageningen University. This pioneering wind turbine converts wind energy with a framework of steel tubes into electricity without moving mechanical parts. The result: less wear, lower maintenance costs and no noise or moving shadow. This will make the Dutch Windwheel the most innovative ‘windmill’ in the world.

The concept is much more than a mark of futuristic thinking and wind energy. It’s a chance to create an experience combining leisure, interaction, sustainable development and dynamic architecture.

Accompanying the groundbreaking technology is the simple, yet stylish design with two three-dimensionally arranged rings forming the sustainable landmark. The outer ring will house 40 cabins that run on rails. Visitors from around the world can enjoy an unprecedented view of Rotterdam and the surrounding area from this giant 174-meter coaster. The inner ring will house a hotel and apartments.

Visitors from around the world can enjoy fabulous views of Rotterdam and the surrounding area from the giant coaster in the outer ring that contains 30 cabins. The cabins of the coaster are equipped with so-called ‘smart walls’, glass panels that include a virtual layer of information that give the visitor an extra dimension of information. Holograms in the cabins serve as a virtual tour guide whilst part of the ride will be under water.

Currently in consultation with several national and international market organizations, developers and research institutes, it is hoped that the Dutch Windwheel, will be ready for a spin in 2025. 


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