Friday, October 8, 1999

World's Coolest (and weirdest) Air Conditioners

That’s an Air Conditioner?!

As most of you already will be aware, air conditioning systems are ten-a-penny these days and grace both the interior and exterior of many buildings throughout the world with their undoubtedly bland appearance. In cities especially, it’s easy to walk down a street and see at least one cooling box attached to every building. However, it seems that at least a few manufacturers, designers and artists are very, very slowly realising that it’s possible to disguise these beasts and think outside the box when it comes to the visual appearance of such a widely used piece of equipment.

LG ARTCOOL

LG ARTCOOL

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LG Air Conditioning

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Wall-mounted A/C units can be an eyesore at the best of times, more often than not attracting the eye for all the wrong reasons and potentially ruining a room’s interior in one fell swoop. Enter LG with their supposedly aesthetically pleasing ARTCOOL range; almost flat air conditioners with picture frames mounted on the unit’s front-facing side, resulting in a disguised unit which resembles a flat-screen TV. A definite improvement.

The Plug and Socket

Giant Plug
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Giant Orange Plug

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Attached to the outside wall of National Magazine Company’s offices on Ganton Street, London, is this impressively enormous plug and socket. It was created by James Glancy Design and, although it doesn’t function as a socket should, the installation does serve a purpose by disguising the building’s exterior air conditioning system, instead creating what is now a local attraction for positive reasons.

The Dunstable Wind Catcher

Dunstable Wind Catcher

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Wind Catcher

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The Chilterns Gateway Centre on Dunstable Downs is home to this amazing, surprisingly low-tech air conditioning system. The Wind Catcher, seen above, sits approximately 100m away from the main building and naturally draws air underground to one end of a pipe, the other end of which sits inside the centre’s main building. By the time the air reaches the centre it has been cooled by the earth’s latent temperature. It’s a beautiful modern take on a system which has been used for centuries in Persian architecture.

TELEVOX

Televox

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Televox 2

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And finally, a disused A/C unit modification which serves absolutely no purpose other than to brighten up the days of passers-by in Bushwick, Brooklyn. What was an abandoned, rusty A/C unit, attached to an abandoned, rusty shop front is now a cardboard TV box courtesy of street artist D.Billy.

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