Power plants are synonymous with billowing clouds of carbon pollution but architects Kawan Golmohamadi, Shilan Golmohamadi, and Soad Moarefi imagine something entirely different. Their conceptual design, titled the Cypher CO2ling Plant, proposes multiple uses for a power station’s cooling towers that could alleviate some of the negative impacts of energy generation.
There are two elements of the development, which are defined by a redesign of the cooling towers and a redesign of the actual power generation station. The architects propose to create cooling towers that double as a green housing, business and commercial complex built on the exterior surface of the concrete structures.
According to the team, these spaces will reduce the number of building materials used and costs involved in construction. The heat released through the towers will be used to heat the populated spaces in the winter. By reducing the standard distance of the power plant from residential areas, the design reduces the amount of energy wasted during transmission of electricity. In addition to this, the mixed-use nature of the building diminishes the need to use personal transport because of the proximity of living and working spaces.
To counter the environmental impact of the power station, the designers of the Cypher CO2ling Plant plan to bury the energy-generation operations under a hill in the ground for aesthetic reasons and to eliminate noise pollution. The chimneys sit above the ground, surrounded by a canopy packed with trees and plants that filter air pollution in the area.
Although the Cypher CO2ling Plant inspires resourceful and sustainable solutions to environmental problems and urbanisation, the design falls short of addressing the various issues related to fossil-fuel combustion and nuclear energy.