A sustainable icon and an icon for sustainability. Still early days but the Dutch Windwheel design is impressive. Currently the project is in the concept phase (2015-2017) – after forming the consortium, there would be the need to develop the design and research the innovations which will be applied to the Windwheel.
Between 2017 en 2021 the preparations for the physical development will take place. The real development is expected between 2021 and 2024.
The Dutch Windwheel is an example of contemporary architecture. The state-of -the-art design consists of two of three-dimensional rings with a light, open steel and glass construction.
The double ring construction is not only an eye catcher, but also offers a diversity of functions. The outer ring houses 40 rotating cabins on a rail system (giant coaster), the inner ring is an innovative windmill housing a top class panorama restaurant, sky lobby and hotel, apartments and commercial functions in the plinth.
The proposed location of the Dutch Windwheel is the international port city of Rotterdam. This modern, dynamic and international metropolis is the architectural capital of the Netherlands and continues to renew itself.
One of the innovations that can be developed with the Dutch Windwheel is the EWICON (Electrostatic WInd energy CONverter) technology. This technology was developed by a consortium including the TU Delft and Wageningen University in the context of government innovation program.
This pioneering wind turbine converts wind energy with a framework of steel tubes into electricity without moving mechanical parts. Result: less wear, lower maintenance costs and no noise or moving shadow. This makes the Dutch Windwheel the most innovative ‘windmill’ in the world.
Moreover, the Dutch Windwheel is designed for disassembly and re-use and built with materials from the Rotterdam region, the harbour and the surrounding steel industry.
The innovative lighting concept and digital information layer in the cabins of the giant coaster make the Dutch Wind Wheel and it’s interior an experience in itself. Parts of the facade are so-called ‘smart walls’, glass panels that include a virtual layer of information that give the visitor an extra dimension of information.
The integration of all kinds of sustainable and innovative technologies is an attraction in itself. Based on the current number of visitors to the Netherlands and Rotterdam it is expected that around 1.5 million people will visit the Dutch Windwheel per year. This ensures that the development will be profitable within 10 years.
Alice Masili (ONE)