The cityscape of Europe’s largest port city Rotterdam will look significantly different with the addition of The Dutch Windwheel. Designed by South African architect and professor of sustainable architecture Duzan Doepel, the 174 metre structure will be composed of two three-dimensional rings constructed from steel and glass, with a base that will sit under water.
The foremost purpose of the building is as an icon of sustainability and a showcase of clean technology. One of the primary innovations behind the turbine will be EWICON (Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter) – a groundbreaking turbine technology that converts wind energy into electricity without the movement of mechanical parts. In addition to producing wind energy, the sustainable structure will also have the capacity to capture rainwater, recycle tap water and create biogas from tenants’ organic waste.
Aside from its sustainable functions, the building is intended to be an attraction for locals and tourists alike. The outer ring is designed to support a high- technology, rotating glass wheel for those seeking out the best views of the city. Imagine an advanced version of the London Eye but with touch-screen glass walls, hologram tour guides and an underwater tour. Its inner ring will serve as a commercial hub with a sky lobby, a panoramic restaurant, a hotel and approximately 72 apartments.
The three Rotterdam-based companies behind the The Dutch Windmill Corporation group are DoepelStrijkers, Meysters and BLOC. They forecast construction to begin in 2018 in the hopes that it will be finished in 2022, at the latest.