Architecture firm Najjar & Najjar has designed a series of three-legged pods for Beirut’s coast in an effort to retain public access to the seafront, which has become dominated by private high-rise developments.

Named IRIS after their eye-shaped structure, the elevated pods function as public retreats where local residents, fisherman and visitors can experience uninterrupted views of the ocean.

The kinematic pods also work to harness the movement of waves and generate electricity for the fast developing city.

Each pod is framed by a pair of metal and wooden eyelids connected, via an extended antenna, to a buoy floating in the ocean.

As the buoy moves up and down with the motion of the sea, it causes the IRIS to blink and propels an electric generator, which in turn relays power to nearby homes.

To demonstrate the concept and capture realistic images of their design, Najjar & Najjar built a 1:5 scale model and tested it on the Beirut coastline.

Courtesy Inhabitat