Urban Oasis to Restore the Soul

As part of London Architecture Biennale, this Urban Oasis is "a demonstration of sustainability and renewable energy working with aesthetic architecture to provide a tranquil oasis for London." To the untutored eye, it is a strange structure in a nice square near the office. Designed by architect Laurie Chetwood, with a design team including Arup, it is the first fuel cell system in a public area in London integrated with photovoltaics and wind. It is "interactive and naturally powered and responsive to the external environment. The 12 metre high kinetic structure mimics the design of a growing flower: its photovoltaic `petals' open and close in response to the sun and moon utilising daylight to generate power. This is supplemented by a hydrogen fuel cell and a wind turbine to make it self-sufficient. It even uses rainwater it has collected for irrigation and cooling". A thermal chimney, which is the trunk of the "tree", helps power a turbine and creates a cooling effect around its base during the day for people who are sitting near it. This chimney is aided by a wind-powered turbine.