Desalinating pipe and giant beach balloon proposed for Santa Monica Pier

A design competition focussing on the iconic Santa Monica Pier in California has drawn some surprising approaches intended to make the attraction self-sufficient in potable water and energy.

Entries for the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative include a string of 2,000 wave-sensitive lighthouses, a giant beach balloon and a solar powered pipe which can generate 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water each year.

The competition aims to encourage renewable energy structures that "add value to public space".

Due to California’s recent drought, this year’s competition was expanded to "include proposals that produce drinking water, either in addition to, or in place of clean electricity".

Entries this year include:

  • Big Beach Balloon (pictured) by American artist Matt Kuser, which will travel 150 meters above Santa Monica Pier, whilst generating solar power
  • 2,000 Lighthouses Over the Sea (pictured) was submitted by a Mexican team, and would create 2,000 new columns that illuminate the horizon to the rhythm of the waves and can provide wave energy
  • Wake Up (pictured) by American artists Henry Moll and Mary Carroll-Coelho, which will repurpose retired swan boats into contemporary energy generating pieces of water art
  • The Pipe is an idea by Canada’s Khalili Engineers which would see a solar powered pipe which can generate 1.5bn gallons of drinking water each year
  • Sun Towers was submitted by a British team and is a desalination plant with multiple glass structures via reverse osmosis.

The winner of the competition will be announced on the 6th October this year at Greenbuild 2016.

A book will also be published that will document 50 to 60 selected submissions.

Previous competitions have taken place in Abu Dhabi, Copenhagen and New York.

Find out more here.

Top image: The Pipe by Canada’s Khalili Engineers

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