These Human Shaped Pylons Were Never Built, But They Might Be - The Reykjavik Grapevine

These Human Shaped Pylons Were Never Built, But They Might Be

Published October 16, 2015

Alexander de Ridder
Photos by
Choi+Shine Architects

In the past month, there’s been a lot of noise about these supposed new electrical towers in Iceland that are shaped like people. Crazy, right? However, nobody really seems to agree on whether these towers are indeed happening, and when, and why, and do we like it, etc. Let us set the record straight, once and for all.

The idea behind the humanoid pylons dates back to 2008, when Landsnet (which provides electrical infrastructure in Iceland) hosted a design contest in concert with the Association of Icelandic Architects, soliciting design concepts for towers that would blend into the environment and reduce the impact of electrical and magnetic fields. The firm Choi + Shine submitted a concept for Land of Giants, electric towers based on the current design, shaped like people. The original submission featured a male tower, with a concept design for a female pylon.

While the idea was technically feasible, Landsnet did not see fit to move forward with the design. However, the Land of Giants concept lingered, and in 2010 was awarded the Best Unbuilt Award by the Boston Society of Architects, in recognition of what is a rather neat concept.

We reached out to Landsnet, the Icelandic company providing electrical infrastructure, asking for some additional information on this latest fad meme. Their Director of Marketing had this to say:

“It has not been decided whether or when the pylons, which won a recognition award in the 2008 Icelandic High-Voltage Electrical Pylon International Design Competition, will be built.”

Lands of Giants 2

In other words, the concept is cool, and has been awarded. These pylons might get built, or they might not. Nothing can be said one way or the other.

Does this count as news? Maybe, maybe not… but the pictures are great.

And if we must construct additional pylons, let them be these.

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