This hairy-looking skyscraper towering over Stockholm is actually Swedish firm Belatchew Arkitekter's rendering for a rather surrealistic "urban wind farm of the future," a 40-story tower covered top to bottom in energy-harvesting plastic straws. The bulk of the tower is already built as the city's Henning Larsen's Söder Torn, which was completed in 1997 and currently stands at 26 stories. Belatchew's plans for Strawscraper include adding 14 extra floors and a skin of tubes that, through relatively small movements produced by wind, will generate electricity. The coolest part? According to the project description, if this technique works, "both old and new buildings can be transformed into energy-producing entities," which seems like a huge pay-off for having a skyline dotted with giant, high-tech pipe cleaners.
"What is usually considered to be the most static of all things, the building, suddenly comes alive and the construction gives the impression of a body that is breathing," the architects write. Adding to the electric-toothbrush feel even more, "The straws swaying in the wind give the building a constantly changing façade further reinforced at nighttime with lighting in changing colours."