The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games set a new standard for sustainable buildings, with several receiving LEED certification and the 2012 London games are poised to eclipse that mark. The 2016 summer games in Rio, seeking to be the first zero-carbon footprint games, may go even further in the green race based on this entry from Swiss architects RAFAA Architecture and Design.
The Solar City Tower is a solar power plant that by day produces energy for Rio de Janeiro as well as the Olympic village and a pumped seawater storage system to generate power at night. A special feature of the building is the urban waterfall, which on special occasions will be created by pumping water over the edges of the building to be a ‘symbol of the forces of nature,’ according to Rafael Schmidt of RAFAA.
The tower can be accessed is through an urban plaza and amphitheater 60 meters above sea level, which can be used for social gatherings and events. A cafeteria and shop are on the Atlantic Ocean side of the 105-meter tower, behind the waterfall, and will have ‘spectacular views,’ according to the architects. The top floor has an observation deck with 360-degree views of Rio and the ocean while the 90.5 level has a retractable bungee platform for thrill-seekers.