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Wind-farm debate

Why not make it pretty?
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  January 25, 2006

WINNING DESIGN: an offshore energy lab that turns energy-producing wind turbines into a national tourist destination.Would opponents of the proposed Cape Wind offshore energy park — 130 giant wind turbines that would churn across 24 square miles of airspace between Nantucket and Cape Cod’s south shore (see “The Winds of War,” News and Features, July 15, 2005) — be more amenable to the idea if the project were prettier? It’s a question prompted by the Windscape Competition, the brainchild of three young Boston architects who recognized that of all the arguments against the wind farm, the question of aesthetics towers over the rest.

With help from the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), Tom Collins, 26, Katherine Wislocky, and Marcell Graeff, both 31, solicited wind-farm designs from around the globe. The 68 entries (from eight countries and 15 states) ranged from serious to silly, but they all underscore the fact that if clean energy is going to become part of the American landscape, we need to think about its visual impact.

Paul Michael Telken and Markus Hermann of the Energy Design Lab of Boston created the winning entry, the e50 (shown here), an offshore energy lab that turns energy-producing wind turbines into a national touristdestination. To be honored Wednesday night at a BSA awards dinner, the design blends fun and function into an innovative offshore, outdoor museum and recreation park — take a ferry to the huge, elevated decks, where you can learn about wind energy, or just lounge poolside. Other eye-catching entries will be on display at the BSA (52 Broad Street, Boston, 617.951.1433) starting this week.


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