John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Plus: supporting green tech. Minus: living in a lightning magnet.
Want to fight fossil-fuels dependence? Can't get to sleep without thrumming white noise? Goetz Schrader would like to help on both counts with these sleek, high-end apartments that attach like ticks to wind turbines.
The designer, who's based in Düsseldorf, Germany, says he's become increasingly aware of the rise of turbines on both land and sea. What he wonders when he sees these immense energy-generators is: Why do they only do one thing? So Schrader's whipped together plans to make turbines multitask, as he explains:
wanting to transform the large energy sources into something more than just functional machines, they are rendered as habitable dwellings. the buildings are formed from highly insulated capsules that are wrapped around the gigantic trunks of the wind turbines—residents are able to access their apartments through a hollow vertical tube that leads them up the shaft of the turbine.
I can think of several positive aspects to this strange vision, not the least of which could be hacking into the turbine's guts for electricity in the manner of stealing your neighbor's cable. There are also the pluses of supporting a green technology—or at least its owners and rent-takers—and panoramic vistas that would blow the mind.
Then again, cleaning dead birds and bats off your roof every week might be depressing. And there'd be commuter hassles, as many wind farms are located miles offshore or atop daunting ridges. And of course insurance woes: What are the policy rates, again, for repeat lightning strikes?