Windflower is a 50m long decommissioned wind turbine blade, upcycled into a family of urban furniture and street planters for the Discover South Kensington festival and the Goethe-Institut on Exhibition Road, London. The project proposes alternative uses and raises awareness about the lifespan of these large pieces of our infrastructure, which end up buried in landfills as their composite materials are not easily recycled.
Today the UK is one of the largest producers of offshore wind energy in the world. This produces a large amount of waste turbine blades that currently end up buried in landfills after a typical 25 year lifespan, as their composite materials are not easily recycled.
While it is encouraging that renewable energy continues to gain ground over fossil fuels in Europe and beyond, it is also predicted that by 2050 we will be dealing with more than 43 million tonnes of blade waste, which will contribute to serious environmental problems, unless proper solutions can be found.
Windflower aims to offer a glimpse into the future of wind energy, to educate the public and the wider community visiting the major museums, cultural or academic institutions on this historic London boulevard on circular economy, and to ultimately offer a solution for the afterlife of these large, impeccably crafted, power-producing structures.
Location: Exhibition Road, London, UK
For: Goethe-Institut, Discover South Kensington, London Festival of Architecture, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Featured in; Wallpaper, ICON, Design Week, V&A, London Architecture Diary, Discover South Kensington, New London Architecture
Collaborators: Adam Harris urban rewilding architect
Fabrication: Design and Making
With thanks to: Goethe Intitut, V&A , Science Museum, Imperial College London, ORE Catapult , Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851
Photography: Luke O’Donovan