The Turbine Wind Tunnel Bridge

wind bridge 01 The Turbine Wind Tunnel Bridge

Why did the chicken cross the wind tunnel footbridge? Because the steel and aluminum structure was so eye-catching he was drawn to it like a whale to water? Or because the electronic noises made by the wind turning the five enormous wheels reminded him of his favorite Wii adventure? Or because the energy created and stored by the wheels made him feel off-the-grid and sexy?

All that and more.

At first glance it looks like some sort of daunting, possibly life-ending Star Wars-ian trash compactor. But Michael Jantzen’s steel and aluminum wind tunnel bridge — an architectural attraction designed to create attention in public venues — does more than get you to the other side. It uses natural wind energy to turn the five wheels (three going one way, two going the other) that creates sound as you make your way across. It also produces and stores energy for future use the way a windmill does.

wind bridge 02 The Turbine Wind Tunnel Bridge

The WTB is precisely the visually intimidating but beautifully subtle multi-functional design we’ve come to expect from Jantzen, whose architectural work tends to double as outdoor art exhibits. Always fascinating, sometimes perplexing, his structures are part design and part science with a tendency to grind, slice and glare — but in a comforting, useful and life-furthering way.

Confused, conflicted, but utterly riveted?… I think that’s the idea.

So, why did the chicken cross the wind tunnel bridge? The answer is yet another question: who wouldn’t?

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