In a stunning example of biomimicry, Scottish architecture firm ZM Architecture have come up with a brilliant scheme to provide solar power to the city of Glasgow – and do so in a way that is provocative, creative, and aesthetically appealing. The proposal? To design Solar Lily Pads which will float in Glasgow’s River Clyde and soak up the sun’s rays, sending electricity to Glasgow’s grid while also stimulating urban riverfront activity.
What we love about this project is the innovative thinking in a proposal for urban energy generation. Whereas most urban design schemes to generate more renewable electricity would usually focus on rooftop photovoltaics or wind turbines on public buildings, it takes a creative leap to envision Solar Lily Pads. But of course, the idea is perfectly natural, and makes good sense when you consider that the intrinsic design of the lily pad is all about maximizing access to the sun’s rays. We hope this great idea takes off and inspires both city governments and other designers to get creative with the design of photovoltaics.