In conjunction with the 2016 Summer 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 will be built on Cotunduba, one of the islands in Rio’s Guanabara Bay.
The vertical structure will be used as an observation tower, and it will capture and distribute solar power to the Olympic Village and to the city. 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 have an amphitheater, 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 experience bungee jumping.