Rotterdam’s Fancy New Riverbank Windmill

Progressive designers are constantly looking for new ways to bring forth projects and developments that will combine sustainable living with magnificent architecture. One company in The Netherlands looks to push the envelope with their latest idea.

Residents of Rotterdam as well as visitors may get to experience a bold new landmark in the Dutch Windwheel. The project comes courtesy of a confederation of four firms (BLOC, DoepelStrijkers, Meysters & NBTC Holland Marketing) as both a way to provide a display of Dutch Clean Technology while paying homage to an iconic part of the Dutch culture, the windmill. The Windwheel also takes some design influence from the London Eye Ferris wheel, located along the Thames River in England. The structure will be built among the wetlands of Rotterdam to convey the appearance of floating. The Windwheel will be composed of two towers built from recycled materials, one being an ‘inner ring’ and the other tower an ‘outer ring’ that will form the central ‘eye’ of the structure. The outer ring will contain 40 cabin-like apartments that give occupants a panoramic view of Rotterdam. The inner ring will be slated to hold 160 hotel rooms along with 72 apartments and commercial outlet spaces. A restaurant will take up the rooftop space of that tower. Inside the heart of the Windwheel is a turbine that is set within the inner ring. It is an EWICON (Electrostatic Wind Energy Converter) turbine, the first major one of its kind. The technology was developed by researchers Johan Smit and Dhiradi Djairam of the Delft University of Technology, and it involves energy being created through the usage of the bladeless wind turbine and charged particles of water. The turbine itself is silent, and it will also recycle tap water as well as collected rainwater. Even waste materials from the hotel rooms and apartments will be put to use and converted to biogas for the Windwheel’s needs.

Another unique element behind the Windwheel will be all of those recycled materials used for its construction; all materials will be sourced locally, like the steel that will come from the nearby shipyards for instance. There is no word yet on when the Windwheel will be completed, but construction has been approved at last report.