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2014 – Polska

Support constructions for overhead HV lines. Innovative solutions

Not so long ago, building a high-voltage overhead line, the aesthetic aspects were not really paid attention. Not assessed, whether energy poles, or support structures of the lines, are nice or ugly, but only treated as elements of a power line.

However, the most interesting are the spectacular designs of support structures, architects and artists involved in the implementation. Among the latter solutions, it seems that number one is projects proposed by – born in Bulgaria, but living in France – the precursor of such artistic works, Elena Paroucheva. First her work for the French electric power industry concerned the beautification of existing lattice structures (Figure 4). Elena Paroucheva gained wide fame thanks to the implementation by the French transmission network operator RTE (Réseau de transport d’électricité) of the project “Source” in Amnéville-les-Thermes (a place visited annually by about 5 million tourists), in which – instead of removing the fragment line or convert it into a cable tray – two 34- and two 28-meter poles are beautified, turning them into “dressed illuminated creatures” (Figure 5). The individual poles were called “Source-water”, “Source-light”, “Source-energy”, “Source-fire”, and the artist obtained appropriate effects using not only colorful decorative elements, but also multi-colored lighting of selected constructions.

This project has won many awards, including the French government and the European Union award [6]. The concept developed by the artist for the Winter Games in Sochi is also interesting.