This futuristic combination of a wind turbine and an apartment complex harnesses natural energy while providing sustainable housing. The Dutch Windwheel Corporation drew up the design with the port city of Rotterdam as its intended location.
The steel-and-glass structure is comprised of three inset circles that would each perform a different function. The outer ring holds slowly rotating cabins for visitors who want to glimpse the best views of the city. The middle ring is host to 72 stationary apartments for long-term residents, hotel rooms for short-term guests and some commercial space. Finally, the inner circle offers space for the wind turbine. Waste produced by residents in the complex would be turned into biogas, while rainwater would be harvested and recycled for utilities.
Aside from the wheel's practical and innovative capabilities, it has much to offer Rotterdam from an aesthetic and economic perspective. If built, the windwheel would become a landmark and tourist destination, boosting the local economy. It would also become an engineering marvel, beautifying the city's landscape with its exciting, ultramodern silhouette. “Because the foundation is underwater, it looks as if the Dutch Windwheel is floating,” the designer says. “It is both a sustainable icon and an icon for sustainability.”