In collaboration with Dezeen and Adidas, Brooks + Scarpa has created a conceptual energy-harvesting pavilion for P.O.D.System. The P.O.D.System Architecture project calls on Los Angeles-based architects to create conceptual buildings based on the story behind adidas' recently launched P.O.D.System shoe, which combines three different shock-absorbing technologies into a single sneaker.
Envisioned for Sarasota Bay, Florida, where hot sun and intense lightning storms are commonplace, the conceptual pavilion features a huge, spiralling, gas-filled structure in the centre, made from a flexible, conductive mesh material. The top of this structure features a ring of solar panels to capture energy from the sun, as well as an array of lightning rods. The funnel-like pavilion inflates when a storm approaches, rising up to attract lightning strikes, which it directs to the electrical substation below.
"When the sun is out, it is essentially a deflated structure," Brooks explains. "When a storm comes across, it rises three-hundred feet to harness the energy of lightning and it become a completely different space."
Vortex Generator would be accessible to the public via a walled walkway set below the water level of the bay, which rises up out of the water and spirals around the base of the inflatable structure.
The central portion acts like a giant lightning rod, ensuring that no-one on the path would be struck by lightning in a storm.
"Traditionally, when you're in a thunderstorm, you run for cover," Brooks says. "We wanted to flip that and provide a space for people to experience a thunderstorm while being protected."