Colors of the Wind

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A park is a place to be surrounded by natural occurrences. A landfill does not become a park until it is able to provide for such occurrences. Our proposal, Colors of the Wind, will help Fresh Kills become a place to experience and see the wind as it becomes colored by a field of swiveling wind turbines.

We cannot see the wind; we can only see its effects. Due to its invisible and evasive nature, wind is a natural element that tinges what it touches with a luster of poetry. Colors of the Wind, a playful and weightless landscape, capitalizes on this condition and attempts to visualize wind by allowing it to simultaneously spin and swivel a proposed field of mini turbines. By emphasizing this natural occurrence, our proposal will help Fresh Kills become a park as a place to experience and see the wind as it becomes colored by a field of turbines. The overall effect of this art piece on the land would be similar to a field of sunflowers, synchronously shifting direction throughout the day.

Colors of the Wind can also be understood as an altimeter indicating the altitude of each point throughout the park: from deep red (Pantone PMS Warm Red 2X) signaling altitudes of 24 feet to deep blue (Pantone PMS 7455) for the highest altitude of the site at 144 feet above sea level. Due to its field-like spatial qualities, this land art piece can be introduced through successive phases as funding becomes available. Colors of the Wind does not require to be fully implemented in order to produce the spatial experience we are proposing.

Areas with low wind speeds such as Fresh Kills, which is rated as a Wind Power Class 2 site, require a distributed generation source in order to be effective. For this reason, Colors of the Wind is a distributed field of mini turbines capable of producing a total of 4,000 mWh per year, enough to power 400 homes. The site has been analyzed in order to delimit areas with a slope less than 1 in 20. The turbines are supported by a thin base with a radius of 10 feet, which in the case of the highest allowed slope would require a depth of 6 inches, the maximum available soil depth throughout the landfill. Based on the recommendations of various mini turbines manufacturers, the minimum distance between multiple units is 25 feet. The noise level of these mini turbines is very small, making it possible to have many of them while maintaining the park as a quiet and calm place. The acoustic emissions are less than 35 dB (A) for all wind speeds, which is the same amount of noise that a quiet room fan produces at a low speed.

Competition boards are available here.

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Project Data

Colors of the Wind
Competition Proposal
Freshkills Park, New York, USA
June 2012

Design Team: Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, Sandra Berdick
Submitted to: 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative Competition, organized by The Land Art Generator Initiative, Pittsburgh, USA

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