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Transmission Signals Olympic Vision

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1 Transmission Signals Olympic Vision on Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:21 pm


Transmission Signals Olympic Vision

Published on 28-10-2009 by
Artist Paul Fryer has designed one of the five entrants for the 2012 Olympic Monument competition that's being championed by Boris Johnson, and at least partially funded by Lakshmi Mittal.

Named Transmission, the idea is to make a carbon neutral structure, fitted extensively with solar panels, that deliberately resembles an electricity pylon to symbolise the importance of energy to us, not only as one of the drivers of our technology, but also to show it is our need for energy that is causing climate change.

Although planned to stand 120 metres tall, the structure has been designed so it can be scaled up or down depending on the budget so it could successfully work at a lower height such as 40 metres, although this would rather dull the impact.

If possible the idea is to have public access to Transmission allowing it to function as a building rather than a sculpture. A large version of it could accommodate shops at the bottom, with a central service core of lifts and staircases running up the middle of it.

The arms of the pylon can be used to accommodate viewing platforms for the public to enjoy the Olympic Park from with the upper arms being ideal for television cameras to use, whilst the top can be used commercially to accommodate television transmitters.

Key to the look of Transmission is stained glass, a long running artistic tradition in the United Kingdom although one that is rarely used these days. Although the initial proposals show the tower as being red, there is the potential to make it any colour with our cathedrals showing that the only limit to the use of stained glass is our imagination.

There is of course the issue of structural practibility as no-one wants another Skylon. Cladding supplier of 30 St Mary Axe, Dewhurst Macfarlane, has been consulted on the matter and they can see no reason why it isn't possible to build.

China meanwhile has already built pylons up to 350 metres in height proving you can build a metal frame of the size Transmission could be. The real challenge however would be to manage the wind loads that a wall of glazing combined with the frame would present although this should not be insurmountable.

Whether transmission can beat off the other unseen entries to the competition remains to be seen, but it does give a tantalising glimpse of a very unpiffling tower.

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