As Brazil readies itself for the upcoming 2014 World Cup, the honor and burden of hosting an even larger global sporting event still sits on the country’s shoulders. In conjunction with the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, several new structures will be erected in Rio’s cityscape. One of the many projects creating huge buzz is the Solar City Tower, an artificial waterfall designed to generate clean, renewable energy.
Designed by Swiss firm, RAAFA, Solar City Tower won the architecture competition for the 2016 Olympic Games. Inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s Waterfall series, the Solar City Tower is expected to be built on Cotunduba, one of the islands in Rio’s Guanabara Bay.
The vertical structure’s design is conducive to multiple functions: its primary purpose is to capture and distribute solar power to the Olympic Village and to the city, but it doubles as an observation tower. The 345-foot structure will have solar panels around its base, used to store energy during the day, releasing it through turbines for use at night. For special occasions, the turbine will pump seawater into the tower and then shoot it back out to sea, creating a waterfall effect in the middle of the ocean.
In addition to this building’s sustainable features, the tower will also include an amphitheater, retail stores, and a coffee shop. An elevator will take visitors to a 360° view of Rio de Janeiro’s landscape. There will also be a platform from which extreme sports lovers will be able to practice bungee jumping. Talk about multipurpose!