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GEHRY'S PETER B. LEWIS BUILDING - WIND TURBINE TOWER DESIGN?
Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 03/22/2007 - 11:52.
When I spoke with Mr. Stuebi of the Cleveland Foundation a few months back, I learned that he and Tyrone White had recently attended this year's international Windfair wind energy trade fair in Hamburg, Germany. Three years ago I had also attended the same wind energy trade fair and, the main message that I took away after the 5 days I attended, was that component manufacturing for wind turbines was a dynamic and growing business area. Buying and using wind utility sized turbines is obviously a cutting edge area, but designing, manufacturing, and erecting wind turbines – towers, blades, foundations, components - is where the real wind energy frontier is.
One of the exhibitors at the fair was DeWind , a German turbine manufacturer. DeWind hired Ferdinand Porsche, AG, the industrial designer whose Porsche automobiles, and sunglasses are well known, to provide “design concentrating on the visual implementation of the flow of power”. The design process focused both inside the nacelle on the mechanical energy conversion components and on the publicly viewable exterior components; blades, tower, and nacelle. Porsche’s design presented novel shape and color on the turbine nacelle which was on view at Windfair. The DeWind cataloque was also designed by Porsche and was the most eye catching cataloque at the fair. I brought a copy of the catalogue back and, after meeting CIA's Doug Page at an REI session, brought the catalogue down to CIA and encourged Mr. Page to set a CIA agenda to design wind turbine components, just as students designed autos for Detroit.
Back here in Cleveland I am aware that Sarah Taylor is an energetic supporter of Frank Gehry’s Peter B.Lewis Building and I share her appreciation for the vitality that the Lewis Building exudes to the benefit of the community. The novel construction techniques used in erecting the Lewis Building also energized the NEO construction community – teaching new methods of steel fabrication and erection, and curved drywall application among them. I also am aware of Sarah’s Windustrious flash presentation which promotes (though without first considering land based alternatives or the public cost or practical feasibility of offshore turbines ) that Cuyahoga County install wind turbines in Lake Erie off of Cleveland.
We all know that what you see is how you look at it – your vantage point and perspective change the appearance of the world. The photo above shows what I believe is the best face of the Peter B. Lewis Building and shows the best of Mr. Gehry’s inspiration. So that view’s for Sarah. Then I thought – why can’t Mr. Gehry design wind turbine towers and turbines? I’ll bet Mr. Gehry hasn’t thought of using his Digital Project software (this is the software which allows Mr. Gehry to go curvy crazy, and still have the ability to produce CAD programs to pull the buildings drawings together) to crank out revolutionary towers and turbines - here in NEO. Having the Cuyahoga County Commissioners spend taxpayer money on pursuing that objective would be something Sarah and I could agree on right now!
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