Friday, 13 Nov, 2009 Technology

Digital Cloud Could Fly Over London's Skies


An international group of architects decided to develop a "digital cloud" that would float above London. They plan involves building 120 meters (400 feet) tall mesh towers along with a series of plastic bubbles that are interconnected and that will serve as screens for displaying pictures and information. In addition, the construction will also serve as an observation deck and park. Initially the building was seen as the center of the Olympic village.

The designers hope to raise money for the construction of the unique structure from small donations from millions of people. According to one of the designers that work on the project, Carlo Ratti, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the size of the construction will be based on the amount of collected donations.

It is worth mentioning that the current project was submitted to a competition launched by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has committed to construct a tourist attraction in the Olympic Park. According to a spokesman, the mayor is still to decide which project will be brought to life.

The group of architects behind the digital cloud decided to go further and publish detailed information of their building. The design of the structure was inspired from the works of Toman Saraceno, an artist who lives in Germany and is famous for his inflatable sculptures of huge sizes, reports BBC News. Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) is a type of plastic that will be used to create the spheres. It would be worth noting that such plastic was used in the construction of the Beijing Aquatic Centre. The spheres will have different sizes and each sphere would serve as an individual element - some of them will be used as habitable spaces, while others as LCD screens with information projected on them.

"We could provide a custom feed of… searches made by Londoners during the Olympics to give a real time 'barometer' of the city's interests and mood," mentioned the California-based Internet giant Google that is one of the project's supporters. Google said that it will provide the information feeds for the digital cloud. The plastic spheres will also feature information on weather, the number of spectators, race results and more. Visitors will be able to climb up the cloud using ramps, stairs and lifts.

Architects decided to use the damping technology in their construction to be able to resist earthquakes. The technology is similar to that used in Japanese skyscrapers. Professor Ratti mentioned that the digital cloud would also make use of renewable energy. There will be solar cells on the ground as well as within some of the spheres. In addition, the lift would make use of regenerative braking, with the latter being used today in some hybrid vehicles.

Posted by Maxriter

Add your comment:

antispam code