« New York, May 19th, 2009 — A French team of an engineer and two architects have won this year’s prestigious Metropolis Next Generation® Design Prize for « Wind-it, » a design to place wind turbines inside existing high-voltage electricity pylons. The winners are Julien Choppin, 31, and Nicola Delon, 31, partners in the Paris architecture firm Encore Heureux, and Raphaël Ménard, director of Elioth, a 20-person conceptual and experimental research arm of the large French engineering firm Iosis Group. The first non-US winners of the prize, Choppin, Delon and Menard were judged to have best met the 2009 Next Generation Prize Challenge: « FIX OUR ENERGY ADDICTION. »
The winners were honored by the architecture and design community at an awards ceremony last night at the Herman Miller showroom in New York. The 2009 Next Generation® Design Competition is supported by sponsors ASSA ABLOY, Herman Miller, and Sherwin-Williams. The prize carries an award of $10,000, which was presented to the team.
Wind-it answers one of the greatest challenges to the development of wind power: where to site wind turbines. Choppin, Delon and Menard’s design uses existing infrastructure – the towers and pylons that dot the more than 157,000 miles of high voltage power lines in the U.S. – to locate their turbines, which can be stacked within already sited structures. Moreover, Wind-it solves the problem of linking energy generation and electricity transmission in the same way – by co-locating them.
« Wind power is great in theory, but NIMBY concerns have hampered its deployment. I’m proud that our Next Generation Prize winner provides such an elegant solution to a thorny problem, » said Metropolis publisher Horace Havemeyer III. « Julien Choppin, Nicola Delon, and Raphaël Ménard have combined technical authority with design imagination that is audaciously simple. »
(Source: Eve Dilworth and Kimberly Taylor, Metropolis Magazine)