Towering Star

A young New Zealander and self-taught architect turns his simple DIYproject into a valuable insight on completely sun powered and automated homes Jono Williams had a dream – to live in a cool treehouse, where he could wake up to panoramic views of Hobbits’ Shire-like dew sprinkled meadows of Linton, New Zealand. What he built though was something extraordinary, beyond child’s play. Skysphere may look more like an air traffic control tower, but you’ll be surprised to know that it runs entirely on solar energy. An engineer and graphic designer, Jono rallied his friends who knew a thing or two about architecture that uses the sun as an energy source, and carefully installed the 33 ft beacon, one steel panel and curved pipe at a time.

Climb the ladder through the centre of the pole and it opens into a circular 270 sq ft space fitted with 360 degree windows, queen sized bed, display screens, LED mood lighting, wireless sound system and couch with an inbuilt beer refrigerator – the New Zealander’s favourite feature. “Ask for a can with a voice command and it’ll serve you one directly to your hand,” he elaborates. “It can also tell its temperature.” Most of the appliances can be operated via a smartphone app designed by Jono. All Skysphere needs now is a bathroom with 24/7 water supply… he’s working on that too. Sneha Ullal Goel Website

From Top It took three years to plan and construct Skysphere. Jono believes that he can now do it in two to three months (he’s already inundated with inquiries for building more sun towers); The smartphone app he designed lets him operate the mood lighting, TV and his beer fridge!

Smog Free Tower

What if buildings could do something about air pollution? Dutchman Daan Roosegarde and his team, researcher Bob Ursem and green tech firm European Nano Solutions designed a 23 ft tall “vacuum cleaner”. With its ion technology, it sucks out smog particles from 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour and releases purified air through its vents.

The waste isn’t junked away – Daan uses the black residue to design rings and cufflinks! Website

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