Architecture, art and functional elements fill the urban atmosphere, usually as separate entities in the same environment. Art may be located in public spaces for citizens to enjoy. Architecture serves a purpose, yet can also be visually appealing. Technology is seen throughout the city, yet often is nothing special to look at. The Public Art Electric Charging Stations set out to meld all these elements together, combining design, art and innovation for the function and viewing pleasure of the community.

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A red car entering a charging station with wavy black strips.

The Public Art Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are a series of concept pieces that provide more than just a place to charge up electric vehicles. These structures aim to engage users at a multi-sensory level. While the charging station is a functional necessity, designers hope to increase awareness and inspire consumers to convert from petroleum-based vehicles to electric cars.

Related: Massive electric vehicle charging system coming to L.A.

A solar panel atop a rectangular metal charging station.

Each of the five proposed charging stations has been assigned a descriptive name and unique design. The Silver Solar Charging Station features large sheets of corrugated steel for the sides of a structure that supports a large photovoltaic panel. One of the criticisms of EVs is that charging stations still draw energy off the grid, which is often produced by the same fossil fuels EV owners hope to reduce. This solution charges the station via solar power and streams it into the connections inside the structure or stores power in batteries until needed. The roof also offers shelter from the weather while the vehicle charges. 

A car entering a red tube charging station.

The Black Waves Solar Charging Station also relies on steel and supports a series of solar panels on the top of the structure, with a distinctive black wave pattern. The Red Solar Charging Station is painted for an eye-catching look and offers the same protection and charging capabilities as the others. Another design, the Yellow Solar Charging Station, is composed of a different material, with a notable yellow dome built from an eco-friendly concrete composite. Also solar-powered, the structure operates via a series of round solar panels webbed across the dome’s roof. 

A yellow dome with solar panels protruding from the top.

The final concept is called The Solar Wind Charging Station. This is the only design that is open rather than covered. EV owners can drive up beside it while observing the steel wind turbine and solar panel mounted to the charging station overhang. This is the only design with wind-power capabilities in addition to solar. 

+ Michael Jantzen

Images via Michael Jantzen