choi + shine architects: the land of giants
choi + shine architects: the land of giants
aug 12, 2010

choi + shine architects: the land of giants

‘the land of giants’ by choi + shine architects
all images courtesy choi + shine architects



american firm choi + shine architects recently received the 2010 boston society of architects award for unbuilt architecture for their project ‘the land of giants’, which they originally designed for the icelandic high voltage electrical pylon competition back in 2008.

choi + shine architects: the land of giants

making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed pylon design, the architects created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable. these iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape.

choi + shine architects: the land of giants

the pylon-figures can be configured to respond to their environment with appropriate gestures.  as the carried electrical lines ascend a hill, the pylon-figures change posture, imitating a climbing person. over long spans, the pylon-figure stretches to gain increased height, crouches for  increased strength or strains under the weight of the wires.

choi + shine architects: the land of giants

the pylon-figures can also be arranged to create a sense of place through deliberate expression.  subtle alterations in the hands and head combined with repositioning of the main body parts in  the x, y and z-axis, allow for a rich variety of expressions. the pylon-figures can be placed in pairs, walking in the same direction or opposite directions, glancing at each other as they pass by  or kneeling respectively, head bowed at a town.

choi + shine architects: the land of giants
the various configurations of the pylons

despite the large number of possible forms, each pylon-figure is made from the same major  assembled parts (torso, fore arm, upper leg, hand etc.) and uses a library of pre-assembled  joints between these parts to create the pylon-figures’ appearance. this design allows for many variations in form and height while the pylon-figures’ cost is kept low through identical production, simple assembly and construction.

choi + shine architects: the land of giants
sketch of the pylon design

  • wow! great idea!

    denis popenkov says:
  • Now all we need is for Pete Postlethwaite to come along and paint them all pink.

    dave says:
  • What a fantastic idea! Now what can they do with wind turbines, the other landscape blight / necessity?

    Jules M says:
  • the only problem is when they start getting old and rusty and need painting and no wants to pay people to go out and paint the arms and hands. still, way better than what we’ve got. I think it would be better to spend the money to put it all underground, give a much better view of the sky although that is very expensive also.

    terri says:
  • absolutely beautiful! amazing works..

    j says:
  • Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

    rcvs1 says:
  • i’m speachless. This type of thincking is what we need. Great job.

    danb says:
  • WOW!

    IBO says:
  • It was an obvious and intuitive jump to making power line towers more “human”, (with gender differences even!) as who has not thought (consciously or unconsciously) of giants striding across some expanse when looking at these towers?
    I love the seemingly natural journey of this work as it follows the archetypes in our collective imaginations to their mythical destination as Giants- who existed throughout the world, throughout time and in every culture as part of our ancestral myths.

    inawefiledlwonder says:
  • i somehow forgot to add this sentence in the above post: ITS ABSOLUTELY FCUKING BRILLIANT.

    inawefiledlwonder says:
  • brilliant!!!!

    katya says:
  • Jonathan Borofsky would be proud. Not to mention H.G. Wells.

    Tom P says:
  • Don’t know if existing towers have those extra supporting wires around the waist. This design is a great step forward indeed.

    jkcat says:
  • Way to Go! If power lines have to be above ground, then why not create works of art in the transfer of energy. Fantastic imagination, instead of dreading the dreaded pylons, folks will take trips to see what different works are in place d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • By the Grace of #God this is! ^_^ THX 4 sharing

    ugotgod says:
  • Seriously i cany believe you lot? this is completely flawed. all of these structures are top heavey. think of any scuplture they are sitting or have a large cloak on them to strenghten the base. you can see from image 2 just how many side supports the designer has used, and the surface area this covers. too much.

    reality says:
  • beautiful, mistical, strange, excellent, i love it

    meio says:
  • brilliant, amazing!

    pkm07 says:
  • WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!! There are no words for it, it is just plain brilliant. To put sculptures of beauty and coolness in the middle of the ugly and desolant landscape that can be found in some places!!!!!

    Lotsasmiles!!!!!!:) says:
  • giant doggie style

    someonehadto says:
  • Seems like a cost effective solution. Given the budget surpluses across the globe, surely many countries would love to pay for these!

    Nopriceonart says:
  • Think Alberto Giocometti.

    meryka says:
  • very nice, I would love to see across the globe.

    goZOOMA says:
  • Tom & Jin –

    excellent!!!What a beautiful way to turn a monstrosity into an engaging story…

    Phrederick57 says:
  • Well done!

    Thuny says:
  • Dare to difference.

    Mark says:
  • Reminds me of Burning Man! Would enjoy seeing them “striding” through the great expanses.

    Meli says:
  • I also thought of Burning Man, Meli.
    I wonder if it offers more surface for debris (carried by storms, for instance) to get caught on, than the standard tower. Probably not great for subtropical weather. Then again, it was created with Iceland in mind, so.
    It is absolutely beautiful!

    Ana says:
  • reminds me of False Profit, yes:



    CPB says:
  • @reality
    what if they were all doing head stands with legs spread.

    alternatereality says:
  • Make them spell out Y.M.C.A

    danweese says:
  • fantastica! make it…

    rik says:
  • Dave,
    Saw the film with Pete Postlethwaite – On The Shoulders of Giants, wasn’t it? Excellent.

    OldChinaHand says:
  • Cute but sadly uneconomic and near impossible to maintain. Wonderful example of lateral thinking though.

    GG_NZ says:
  • Too Good

    khadijahf says:
  • out-of-the-box thinking, well done!

    amnah gurmani says:
  • I deeply like the idea as a sculpture and something really cool sitting in a museum.

    Beside this, I just can’t help thinking about all the weird stuffs we put in the middle of roundabouts just to justify wasted space, instead of having less cars, for example.

    I hope it’s not too windy in Iceland… :}

    arkhi says:
  • Cool! Let’s not let ancient people have all the architectural fun with their giant figures across the landscape! With our technology, there’s no reason to not show our playful side. Turns practical into art.

    dixie miles says:
  • I think people would tire of them very quickly. You get a jolt of excitement seeing them for the first time, but I think it’s conceptual overkill – pylons are already human in their shape and origin – do we need it spelled out for us? And sculpturally I don’t find them as elegant as they could be – maybe that’s the main problem. But I just find them too obvious.

    Lindsay says:

    WYKOP says:
  • I think this is a great idea and a perfect combination of creativity and engineering. I live in a fulty line city so underground is out of the question. Plus we need to build power up north were there is a lot of mountains and rapid change of sea elevation level so this would look great in your trip up north. And the expressions totally make sense for the sense of use.

    Damian Roman says:

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