Michael Jantzen wind-powered pavilion

Michael Jantzen is known for sustainable designs that range from down-to-earth realities to pie-in-the-sky concepts that pose solutions but, equally powerfully, ask questions about the nature and direction of nature-based design. One such challenging project is this wind-powered pavilion -depicted here as a rural construct, it would be compelling in urban environments (where its density would also make the most sense).

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Michael Jantzen wind-powered pavilion

The structure looks somewhere in between a retro-futuristic beach house built in the ’60s and a utilitarian power-producing structure you might see off the coast somewhere in Europe. The renderings don’t quite make it clear that the building makes use of such unusual materials as textiles to get its flowing form, so it’s hard to get a sense of exactly what it might actually look like once built. But the wind-powered rotations definitely present an interesting opportunity to take in panoramic views while producing renewable energy.

Michael Jantzen wind-powered pavilion interior

So how does it work? “The Wind Shaped Pavilion is a design proposal for a large fabric structure that can be used as a public or private pavilion. As a lightweight fabric structure, the wind slowly and randomly rotates each of the six segments around a central open support frame. This continually alters the shape of the pavilion, while at the same time generating electrical power for its nighttime illumination.”

Michael Jantzen wind-powered pavilion fabric

And how would it play out in practice? “The shape of the structure starts out as a relatively symmetrical form. Then the wind begins to alter that shape randomly, with only a slim chance of ever returning to its original symmetry. If the structure’s scale and the materials were to change, it could become an apartment complex, and or some other commercial building. In this case, the occupants could take control and rotate the segments to adjust to changing desires or needs, such as weather conditions, best views, etc.”

About Michael Jantzen:

“Michael Jantzen’s work is very well known around the world. It has been featured in thousands of articles in books, magazines, newspapers, and on the Web. His work has been shown in many galleries, and on various TV documentaries. It has also been exhibited at the National Building Museum, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Harvard School of Design and Architecture, the Santa Fe Institute, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Most of his work merges art, architecture, technology, and sustainable design into one unique experience. Extreme innovation is his goal in everything he creates. Most of this innovation has been focused on the re-invention of the built environment, and photography.”