Giant Solar Waterfall Proposed for 2016 Olympics Site

A stunning architectural design has been proposed for Rio de Janeiro to mark its hosting of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. The design uses solar power to run pumps which raise water to the top of the falls. When it is released and plummets downward, it spins turbines that also create electricity. The main wall of the waterfall would be over 300 feet above sea level functioning as the symbolic part of a large solar power plant.

The goal of the solar power plant would be to create enough electricity to make a carbon-neutral Olympic event. At the base of the structure on the ground level, plans call for shops, an amphitheater, auditorium, and walking areas. Bungee jumping could also be possible using the main vertical structure. The bungee platform is designated as retractable and located at a height of 90 meters.

The Swiss architecture firm RAFAA is responsible for the Solar City Tower design. An environmental theme was chosen as an homage to the 1992 Earth Summit: “After hosting the United Nation’s Earth Summit in 1992, Rio de Janeiro will once again be the starting point for a global green movement and for a sustainable development of urban structures.”

Their website says their design is also a reference to the “imminent post-oil era.”

Image credit: RAFAA


JL A.3 years ago


Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

like to see it

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra3 years ago

Thank you Jake, for Sharing this!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago


Mario A.
Mario A.4 years ago

this will be cool to see when it's done

Kishore Amma
Kishore Amma4 years ago

Amazing -

Joanne M.
Joanne M.4 years ago

Amazing - I really hope this works as it may be an inspiration to get more green projects going!

Gary C.
Gary C.4 years ago