New Architectural Design Exhibit Opening at Erie Maritime Museum

Harnessing wind energy is something the crew of the U.S. Brig Niagara does every time she sails.  Harvesting that same wind as a sustainable energy source to power her home berth, the Erie Maritime Museum, is an idea that would not only reflect the heart of her sailing operation, but prove to be an innovative solution to problems created by high energy demand and its impact on the environment.

The Erie Maritime Museum welcomes visitors to the opening reception of its new exhibit, Wind Turbine Integration in Architecture and the Urban Environment on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Museum’s West Wing Gallery.

This exhibit presents projects developed in a third-year design studio at Penn State’s Department of Architecture.  Students visited Tall Ships Erie and the waterfront in September 2010, then designed a dream addition to the Erie Maritime Museum, including ship’s building and maintenance facilities.  Six different ways of integrating wind turbines are presented in the model designs:  on the roof, at the parapet, wind funneling structures within the roof, funneling structures within the building, at the façade, or free standing.  The architectural models on display reflect the diversity of wind collection methods, as well as interesting aesthetic approaches, making the new complexes attractive waterfront elements.

The exhibition is part of a larger research project at Penn State.  Since 2010, an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers and instructors from the Departments of Architecture, Architectural Engineering, Landscape Architecture, and Aerospace Engineering has collaborated in researching this topic of building-integrated wind energy.  The team combines technical, environmental and aesthetic research and design studies, and forms a testing ground for new architectural strategies, in which the utilization of wind turbines is closely linked to buildings. For more information please visit:  www.wind.psu.edu .  The Erie Maritime Museum thanks the Penn State Department of Architecture for choosing it to host the exhibit.

The April 14 reception is open to the public free of charge. The exhibit will remain in the West Wing Gallery through October 12, as part of the Museum’s admission.

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