the ‘wind island’ by mohsen laei creates its own microclimate


as sea level rise takes a critical new turn, architects like mohsen laei are challenging and reimagining the future of human settlements in certain parts of the globe. his latest proposal, ‘wind island’, envisions an floating structure that cultivates the power of the wind, water, and sun, to create its own sustainable and open microclimate.


endowed with a simple and bionic design that blends with its surroundings, the island sits at the upper epipelagic zone of an ocean — the top layer that receives sunlight — and can float in water bodies deeper than 50 meters. 

wind island 1
all renderings © mohsen laei



a circular, artificial island dominated by undulating volumes


concept wise, mohsen laei (see more here) combined the anatomies and characteristics of four elements: water lily, flags, islands, and water. as a result, the final design reveals a circular structure with sinusoidal shapes that weave and warp their way to the center, where they rise from the ground to form a giant, multi-functional tower with a helipad at its top. 


these undulating volumes covering the island comprise green areas, access routes (ramps, elevators, walkways), residential zones, research and recreational areas, and technical facilities. finally, punctuating the island’s edges are funnel-shaped entry points for water to filter through.

mohsen laei



using funnels and flag-like blades to power the island


two features dictate energy production on this island. the first one is flag-like blades that envelop the tower and move according to wind currents, activating the vertical mast and underwater blades to generate power. additionally, these flag-like pillars are designed with photochromic material that cools and shades the central part of the floating settlement.

the second is funnel-shaped entrances where water enters and gets purified from waste and harmful substances. additionally, two-level turbines rotate these funnels in the direction of water currents to stabilize the island during unstable or rough conditions.

wind island 3



self-sustaining cultivation and rainwater collection 


emphasizing the sustainable dimension of this proposal, laei suggests building the island using hybrid and organic floating concrete, with residential buildings equipped to grow their agricultural products. additionally, the vegetated areas between settlements can be expanded or managed to host greenhouses and a similar enclosed structure where residents can cultivate. 


last but not least, the use and collection of rainwater is facilitated by sloping surfaces and the design’s radial shape. ‘on green surfaces, a stair infrastructure collects the required cross-sectional water, while excess rainwater from the valleys comes in the form of waterfalls and moves the turbine blades,‘ states the architect. 

wind island 5



mohsen laei

mohsen laei

mohsen laei




project info:


name: wind island
architecture: mohsen laei | @mohsenlaei
proposal year: 2021

program: 11th edition of the jacques rougerie competition



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom