The Office of Charles F. Bloszies

The Office of Charles F. Bloszies

San Francisco, CA


Could Defunct Military Bunkers Unlock Coastal Wind Power? Ask Architect Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA

By ccsullivan
Dec 7, '22 1:50 PM EST
'Recycled Batteries' visualization, by Office of Charles F. Bloszies FAIA
'Recycled Batteries' visualization, by Office of Charles F. Bloszies FAIA

Dozens of old military bunkers dot American coastlines, disused for decades. What if they found new life as part of the country’s renewable energy infrastructure? 

That’s the idea behind a creative proposal from the Office of Charles F. Bloszies FAIA, a San Francisco architecture and structural engineering firm whose experts see these imposing concrete structures as ideal anchoring points for a network of small-scale wind turbines. 

“Many of these bunkers, more commonly known as batteries, are situated with a clear trajectory to the sea and steady wind exposure, making them ideally suited for power generation,” says Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA, the firm’s principal and a widely cited expert on repurposing old buildings and structures. “We’ve identified a number of potential sites, including near the Presidio of San Francisco, where the defunct cannon bases could support beautiful vertical wind turbines. We are calling the idea Recycled Batteries."

According to Bloszies and his colleagues — known for innovating with design and engineering solutions including reusable transitional housing modules — there are numerous benefits to the Recycled Batteries approach. These include the potential for creating more localized, small-scale power grids, and the significant reduction of construction waste and embodied carbon from reusing the existing concrete to anchor the turbine towers and house electric transformer switchgear.  

"Many of these batteries were never actually called into service, and if left unused will continue to fall into disrepair,” concludes Bloszies. "This proposal is a kind of swords-to-plowshares approach for adaptive reuse, taking historic structures with little hope of being preserved by other means and repurposing them for public benefit."

About the Office
Founded in 1985, The Office of Charles F. Bloszies FAIA is an award-winning, specialized firm engaged in urban infill design. We are thoughtful, creative problem solvers just like many architectural firms, yet our practice is a hybrid of architecture and engineering: We understand design theoretically, but execute our work in a practical, yet innovative manner. For over a quarter century, the office has renovated, adapted, and modified old buildings and created new modern, context-sensitive urban infill structures—often on challenging sites, and many in highly visible locations. We are interested in how “new” meets ”old,” working at varied scales and for a range of uses. More at