CANAL Water Purification Footbridge proposal
Location: Hermitage Museum Amsterdam, 2010 competition
Water management is still the most important function of Amsterdam canals. Without them, the city would drown. Circulating the water is also vital for sanitary reasons. In the days when windmills had to do the job, the stench of the water could become unbearable in periods with little wind or rain.
Three times a week, 14 of the 16 existing waterlocks around the city close up, so clean water can be pumped in from the big lake IJsselmeer. The current that is created pushes the dirty canal water out through the open locks on the other side of the city. Specialized cleaning boats with big scoops and nets patrol frequently clean surface debris. Since 2005, all the houseboats in the city are connected to the sewer system.
The cleaner water has attracted 20 different species of fish and crab that live a healthy life below the surface. Water birds like herons, ducks, coots, gulls and cormorants also feed and live on the canals.
The bridge proposal uses this as a design criteria, the form of the proposed bridge follows a water vortex, which pumps dirty canal water through and round the steel tubes which filter it and create a current which helps with the sanitation of the canals especially when they are flushed 3 times a week. The bridge acts as a pump pushing dirty water out through the open locks on to the other side of the city, where the cleaning boats patrol and clean the debris. The bridge acts as a reservation for birds which in recent years have been attracted to the cleaner water in the canals.
The coffee shop and the steel ribbed frames that wrap around the bridge reflect the constant movement in the city, bicycles are hoisted up into the frames waiting to be repaired. The coffee shop is an orange water tunnel which has inner reinforced etched glass panels that mimic that give the feel of being underwater. The entire scheme is a piece of reclaimed land, a polder which also allows for people to sunbathe and relax, like an reclaimed urban beach.
Originally the design has been adapted from a water irrigation pump/bridge to be applied to HoldenManz wine estate in Franschhoek in Cape Town, a bridge which filters water in order to irrigate the surrounding vineyards, the original design commissioned by the wine estate has been adapted to Amsterdam in order to help purify the canals and most importantly aerate the water and help with the flushing/movement of the canal water through the city when the locks are opened 3 times a week. The bridge offers a bicycle repair shop and a cafe open to the public as well as a sustainable bridge that offers a service to the city and the neighbouring environment. The hydraulic pumps direct canal water through the series of filters embedded within the frame which aerate and return the water into the canal, cleaner and more hygenic most importantly deterring stagnant water in the city. Rehabilitation of canals is an important step to support and understand the potential of Amsterdam canals.
The bridge aims to increase contact between water and air, thereby dissolving oxygen into the water while the water is flowing. Aeration is achieved jetting water into the air using a pump, or lifting water using a rotating wheel, or dropping water back into the canal from a height. This technique prevents stagnation and pollutants from settling onto the canal surface aiding water circulation and the flushing of canals.
Heat Haze Hotel Rooms
The project is a design for a private client' s short stay hotel hangar that can be wheeled to different docking locations at an airport. The hotel lounge is an extension of the private jet which allows the passengers to rest for a period of 24 hours before departure, making it unnecessary to leave the private airstrip in search of accommodation whilst the plane is refuelled or maintenance checks performed. These types of pop-up hotel rooms cater to early arrivals before departure as well as connecting flights. The scheme is composed of three telescopic fibreglass polymer clad shells, the exterior contains perspex encased tritium sections that glow and have a ten year life span without the need for an external power supply. The scheme can be dismantled for easier transportation.
The hydro-pneumatic suspension sections can be moved apart similar to that of an airport passenger jet bridge, they are cantilevered from the main structural steel frame stem which locks the cantilevered hangar roof whilst counterbalancing the lounge rooms, both sections are secured at an angle into this movable structural rig which also acts as an anchor for the scheme. Rain water is filtered in order to be used by the hotel room services.
A seamless polished chrome cantilevered canopy displays the jet within a highly reflective environment which can be shuttered off when necessary, the surfaces are sealed to not only showcase the plane but keep the area clean of rain water contamination making it a self cleaning hangar. A creased rubber section connects all three fibre glass shells which expands and contracts according to the shells movements. The expandable interior sections are lined with a combination of laminated glass , photovoltaic cells and low-resolution LED Lighting which can be programmed to create any fully immersive environment which either connects you with the existing horizon line and context or completely dislocates you from it.
The design concept mimics the heat haze, shimmering effect of high temperatures during take-off and landing, altering our perception of the immediate environment, the architecture is an extension of the dynamics of it's context, using pattern recognition, digital and radioactive technology to blur the edges between the virtual and actual.
The second stage implements a hot air updraught tower to contribute to sustainable energy and environmental design considerations.
Grand Cru du Siecle
With the present threat of Paris flooding, this Champagne bar acts as part of Paris' flood control infrastructure. The enclosed circular glass bar rests over a bell mouth spillway which allows water to enter from it's entire perimeter, this water is taken, via submerged canals, upstream to the impounded lakes and nearby reservoirs.
The champagne bar contributes to flood management in the city. The circular bar is zoned to direct water through it's ramps and into the spillway situated under a moveable glass clad floor.
A raised glass corridor, floats over the Seine as water rises and flows through the rest of the design. The industrial function of the bar is combined with an ethereal monocoque shell that houses the light and reflective nature of the champagne bar's interior, etched glass gives an effervescent feel with the lattice spillway filtering water as it is channelled through the underground network.
Paris's ornate manhole covers the entrances to underground conduits, this project attempts a dialogue between architecture, Paris water infrastructure and substructures as a way of managing a flooded city.
The Hydroelectric Waterfall Prison
The prison is located in the Pacific Ocean close to the Canadian coastline.
The main program is a sustainable prison which acts as a hydroelectric power station. Constructed of reinforced concrete, it's vertical structure consists of a floating tension-leg platform tethered to the seabed eliminating most vertical movement, with depths up to 2,000m.
The concrete support is connected to 4-column semi-submersibles further stabilised by a structural ring of floating Tyson turbines.
The prison consists of a series of cantilevered loops creating an even weight distributed throughout the rig. The contained prison surface is made from a web of reinforced steel elements embedded within holographic filtered glass panels, superimposing views of life inside and views out of the prison, this depth of field creates a surreal environments which gives the illusion of boundary-less architecture, a kaleidoscopic panopticon.
The current design uses principles behind a pumped storage hydro electric power station.
Pumped storage facilities use excess electrical system capacity, generally available at night, to pump water from one reservoir, in this case the ocean to another reservoir at a higher elevation which is the prison hold, the height of the prison hold is approximately 50 meters. During peak electrical demand, water from the prison hold is released onto the floating turbines in the ocean, and electricity is produced. At times of low electrical demand, excess generation capacity is used to pump water into the prison's hold.
A secondary ring of wave energy convertors (similar to The Pelamis ) float around the main structure which are used to pump and store water into the main section of the design, the prison's hold. The buoyancy hydro force within the funnel of the main concrete vessel structure contributes to the pressure pumping water up into the prison volume hold before it is let out through it’s surface onto the Tyson turbines below, this alters the height of the prison deck and the pressure hydro release. The sored ocean water is distributed through the nozzles within the carbon fibre clad cantilevered outer prison surface. The surface choreographs the amount of pressure and water to fall onto the floating Tyson turbines below, controlling the amount of electricity generated.
Floating Tyson turbines turn a shaft when water falls onto them, powering an electrical generator housed housed within the primary concrete structure located in the artificial cliff-side. Underwater cables run the electrical power to the mainland.
In light of recent advances pumped-storage hydro is the predominant renewable energy source available to balance intermittent resources, such as wind and solar. Pumped-storage facilities can enable a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and build a cleaner renewable energy capacity.
12,000 cubic meters of water are stored in the prison's hold, available as necessary, the head is 50 meters and with a contributing hydro pressure the electical energy produced is approximately 3.2MW providing on average 2,045 homes with electricity.
Prisoner cells are lined with semi transparent optical mirror which provides superimposed views into and through the cells, giving the illusion of an open plan space. The continuous loop of cells distribute weight evenly across the cantilevered ramp. Ocean water that is pumped through the cladding screens views and camouflages the prison when the turbines are operated.
The central circulation spiral staircase connects the heli-pad to the artificial cliff-side generator, it acts as a base from which to observe the inmates. Helicopters are only allowed to land when the Hydroelectric generators are shut down.
The second stage of the design will implement the ideas behind low level and high level hydroelectric power stations, the important factor is the volume of water stored within the prioson and the vertical drop. The design will be adapted for these necessary changes.
Margot Krasojevic – architect and psychologist - has attracted great interest in her conceptual and visual work. This book is an image/text collage that comprises Krasojevic’s work over the last 10 years. Containing spectacular 3D renderings of experimental architecture, it is meant for architects and students with an interest in experimental architecture and all those interested in spectacular digital visualizations.
Hydroelectric Tidal House,
Location: Llandudno, Cape Town 2015, designed 2014
The tidal house has foundations embedded into the sand or rock coastline, harnessing tidal wave power to generate electricity. The structure is made up of two shells- the outer, cast in concrete, anchors the house to the beach whilst the inner shell rises with the tide as it flows around the primary structure.
The semi circular concrete shell contains solar cells that provide an electrical supply to the living area, the cross section is made from an array of hydraulic tidal turbines which generate electricity from a renewable source of energy, the tidal wave; tides are more predictable than solar and wind energy making it simpler to find an appropriate location to harness this renewable energy source.
There are two types of extruded turbine, one type uses lightweight aluminium chambers which compress air trapped in the chamber when a wave breaks into them, this kinetic energy creates an electrical current similar to wind turbines; the second type of sustainable energy uses neodymium magnets to move through wound copper wire tubes inducing an electrical current as a wave pushes and pulls against the extruded chambers, the electrical energy can be stored in a capacitor. This type of electrical generator is electromagnetically induced. The inner shell is made from a lightweight non-ferrous aluminium monocoque structure that floats within the external bunker as the tide rushes through it. There are three modules to the living area making it easy to dismantle according to the functional requirements of the house. The outer shell is clad in a framework of cast concrete sections making it easier to transport.
The form creates a series of channels for water to travel though creating a whirlpool effect which mimics the beachcomber house itself, in order to trap as much tidal energy throughout it's structure.
The collection of architectural design projects included provides an overview of philosophical theories that focus on what appears to be real, presenting a range of methodologies and a set of tools for addressing this discourse. The contents have been divided into 5 sections, each chapter developing a design criteria process involving one of the following areas in philosophy: hyperreality and simulacra within postmodern philosophy, drawing on Jean Baudrillard; semiology and the authority of form; complexity and noumenon/non-Euclidean geometry; the exhausted confines of structuralist theory according to Roland Barthes; and lastly authenticity, with the aim to describe how we perceive reality and the urban fabric. Incorporating the ontological potential of space into a design process and part of a set of design criteria will help develop an understanding of the conditions under which forms and design criteria are generated.
ELECTRIC CORAL REEF STATION
A framework of moveable steel girders and steel reef ball structures is designed in a way to support the growth of natural coral. The design’s section shows the moveable Meta balls connected to electrical cable that is attached to floating solar panels on the water surface. Small bits of natural coral are attached to this steel frame in order to generate further growth. This electrical current is low enough for divers to swim around the structure but strong enough to create an electric field around the frame which condenses dissolved calcium carbonate out of seawater and attaches itself to the steel frame in order to build the limestone skeleton.
The coral fragments tied to the calcium carbonate covered frame help limestone skeleton growth which is the foundation for natural corals. Coral is important be it natural or artificial as it buffers the impact of hurricanes and tsunamis in coastal regions. By slowing down and reducing the force of waves as they approach the shore, reefs can diminish the distance and amplitude of the waves travelling inland. The healthier and more structurally complex a reef is the more friction it provides and the better it protects the coastline, mitigating coastal damage. This project supports the growth and protection of coral reefs for their beauty and biodiversity.
I have recently completed a proposal for an electric coral reef station which floats between areas that require coral reefs to dissipate storms near coastlines. The complex geometry used in the station further buffers oncoming waves slowing them down in the process, floating solar cells power the electric circuit which stimulates limestone and coral growth onto the meta cages which are dropped into the ocean to stimulate coral growth:
Fresnel Hydrofoil Trimaran
The design for a solar powered, perpetual motion, hydrofoil Trimaran yacht, commissioned by HoldenManz wine estate, Cape Town.
The Fresnel Trimaran has a folding wingsail for a better lift to drag ratio, the sail's frame is a built up mechanical structure similar to an airplane wing constructed from carbon fibre with a retractable Kevlar sail covered in aero-nautical film. The sail rotates around the mast and has a series of motorised creases which catch the wind, the wingsail is actuated by motors that control these movements using solar cells and wind energy.
The combination of the Fresnel lens and holographic film clad outrigger concentrates solar power for more of an efficient output. The form of the main hull acts as one unit with the wingsail, which wraps into the main body of the hull creating a continuous surface resulting in the motorised mast changing the shape of the sail allowing it to harness more wind. The outriggers detach to transform the yacht from racing multihull Trimaran to a cruise boat for leisure. The multi-hulls use recycled carbon fibre materials to reduce the environmental damage caused during processing new carbon fibre sheets.
The multi-hull wingsail design does not carry a heavy ballast which slows down vessels, all the materials used are strong yet lightweight.
A triangulated woven polyester mesh trampoline with a vinyl coating runs the length of the Trimaran, it is connected to the wingsail which wraps itself into the main composite carbon fibre hull, the trampoline frame acts as a water piercer with a heavy ensuring a smoother ride. Wind flows over wingsail and uplift drives the Trimaran forward.
The Wingsail generates wind energy, internal gearing systems convert wind energy to electricity which can be used to part run the motors or contribute to the integrated desalination unit along with the solar cell/ fresnel clad outriggers which run the desalination unit providing up to 4 litres of drinking water per hour.
Flexible solar panels located on the top and bottom of the wingsail surfaces generate electricity using wind and solar energy.
During bright windless days, wingsails face the sun and only solar energy is generated.
On windy days, wingsails rotate to generate largest combined energy from wind and sun. At night, wingsails generate just wind energy.
The outrigger hulls can detach themselves from the main hull, they are constructed from a double section vacuum bonded PVC surface lined with Fresnel lenses and holographic film to focus the light intensity towards the sandwiched solar cells. The Fresnel trimaran also has a set of fold-out hydrofoils. When it's in monohull mode, these hydrofoils can be deployed, pushing the main hull up above the water, reducing water resistance by up to 80 percent, allowing for a fast, smooth ride that uses less fuel.
The main cabin is lined with holographic film which defracts incident light, it also acts as a prismatic concentrator which channels light towards the photovoltaic material.
The second stage to the project involves a series of elliptical tracks running across the yacht's boards attempting to harness the main hull pendulum motion to run the perpetual retrieving magnetic turbine motor.
Hanging Hotel/Suspended campsite
The following project is situated in Massif de L’ Esterel, (Gorges Du Vedron) South of France. The architecture dictates and choreographs our perceptions of immediate contexts and environments.
The hanging platforms offer a rest for rock climbers, a pause enabling them to enjoy the views and environment before continuing their journey. The surfaces are partly embedded partly protruding from the existing rock face structure. A grid of borehole foundations injected into the rock face expand into the existing granite, clamping the main body of the structure into the façade. The hanging hotel creates a serious of polarised glass spaces which protect the climber from glare reflecting light in an uniform direction creating an illusion that the sun is in a lower position than it is and therefore negating glare, Uvb light rays are reduced by using holographic filtered compound glass, this reduces the number and types of wavelengths entering the spaces which in turn reduces the harmful uVb rays, the holographic filters split the white light with a prism affect, the filters are removable and this effect can be taken advantage of. This hi tech prism louver system almost completely reflects direct incident light, but admits diffuse zenith light. The dismountable concave reflection louvers wrap themselves round the pods acting as partly a shading system, they also heighten the experience and the view, a filter that allows to choreograph the view as it is in all its reality but whereby mirages and misleading illusions, at these altitudes, are controlled and edited by these pods creating clear and real images of the immediate environment, alternatively, the pods choreograph a heightened yet dislocated relationship with the real perception of existing views, an alternate reality by using the prismatic optical elements which divide colour with changing viewing points.
The pods naturally induced visual hallucinations resulting from altitude and exhaustion. The pods also simulate a self contained environment suspended from the immediate environment allowing the climber to rest providing a meditative space before continuing, important for mental strength and physical resolve. For the prevention/containment/ of anomalous perceptual experiences during mountain climbing. The spaces within the hotel can either enhance the perception of the surrounding area or block it to aid recovery and over exposure.
The main shell of the hotel is a carbon fibre reinforced polymer shell which very much like the tarpauline tent is flexible yet strong, the main load is carried by the walkway, columns, horizontal foundations which pin the reinforced glass pods and carbon shell to the granite cliff face like a portal edge.
1. Half constructed half evacuated from cliff face structure is pinned into position hanging as a tent or portal edge.
2. The steel horizontal foundations
2. Timber cross beams bored into the cliff face protrude enough to rest on columns which carry the majority of the walkway load.
3. The columns sit into the rock and strengthen under load.
4. Columns play an auxiliary structural role, the columns are flexible and can move slightly to compensate for uneven walkway load bearing.
5. Timber cross beams have triangular wedges attached to edge so when they are driven into trapezoidal holes in the cliff the wedges are pushed into the timber beams creating a very tight fit into the rock itself.
6. The ropes and reinforced guide frames are clipped into the cliff face and can be moved as necessary. Portaledges sit into the rock.
7. The main body of the structure is partly supported by existing rock, it’s centre of gravity is positioned on the ledge allowing the structure to lean back into the granite cliff face making it easier to clip into the horizontal foundations.
8. The project is a hanging hotel with viewing platform which provides structural security for climbers, a rest stop to enjoy the view.
The section of cliff face is secured to the rock and provides a stable meditative wildlife sanctuary.
9. Finger and fist jams are part of the concrete surface structure sprayed into the boreholes and over the surfaces allowing climbers more security before climbing onto platforms. An artificial climbing surface.
Fractal Tower, 2007
Complex geometry highlights the fact that the physical world is limited through our perception and long standing relationship with Euclidean geometry, confining and retaining the possibilities.
Immanuel Kant argues, that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience and limiting the mind's access to the empirical realm of space and time, that perception is based upon experience of external objects and a priori knowledge (empiricism and rationalism).
Things that we perceive are apparently unknowable, as they themselves are mere concepts; yet without concept, intuition is nondescript; without intuition, concept is meaningless. Just because we think and feel about things does not make what we think or feel reality, surely the virtual then is a type of reality in itself, just because we do not experience all realities does not mean they are not present or impossible to engage with as concepts, our mind orders the world allowing us to comprehend and appropriate, however, I believe the only reason we might never overcome the constraints of our own mind is if we remain tied to the constraints of euclidean geometry.
If perception is confined by mathematics and the science of the natural, empirical world then we must work with non-euclidean geometry and software to expand the definition of real in order for a new soft environment into which architecture and typology can be manifested to exist and evolve.
Euclidean geometry attempted to provide a singular truth, defining real, however, this notion was destroyed with the introduction of non-euclidean geometry, bringing about major changes in the philosophy of mathematics. Non-Euclidean geometry shattered Kant's paradigm, paving a way forward to new schools of thought in formalism.
This project uses non-euclidean geometry to create a soft environment.
The tower, screens and reflects the urban fabric altering our perception of it, it's programme is an ever-increasing gallery space suspended within a hyperbolic surface. The plan does not dictate its perceived presence as pattern iterations distort by reflecting geometries (dislocating physical from predetermined perceived), affecting how the individual appropriates this space. Fractal reflections and physical hyperbolic geometry simulates an illusion of the Tower within a virtual context defined as a soft environment. The tower's perceived space continually morphs as a result of the surface renderings and reflections, whose perceived boundaries and physical transitions are non-static. The tower's physical geometry defines a soft environment, a new context for appropriation which further redefines the physicality of the tower itself through peoples habitation.
The reflecting surfaces have a Hausdorff dimension2 greater than its topological dimension, characteristic of non-euclidean geometric objects.
The Tower project therefore attempts to define a virtual context through a projected physicality, whose tangibility expands along with our understanding of the objective world. What can be imagined can be communicated using software to define the design process within its soft context, in turn provoking a soft architecture. Separating perception and appropriation of architecture from the constraints of expectation.
The 3d printed ceramic light uses acrylic photoluminescent strips, that slide into grooved sections. LED bulbs sit within a rubber wheel that can be repositioned inside the light, the light radiated from the bulbs is absorbed by the phosphorescent strips and slowly re-emitted creating a glow surrounding the light, these acrylic strips slide into routed sections which guide light through the entire form. The section is detailed and complex in order to create subtle light transitions altering our perception of the entire form.
The Ordos MU US Desert Temple:
The project has been commissioned by the city of Ordos. It is an open Buddhist temple located on the outskirts of the Ordos desert, an area that is currently used for meditation and religious ceremonial offerings, Mongolian Buddhist rituals dictated the design.
Mu US desert has an extreme changing climate whose light levels affect survival and appropriation, an important design criteria. The many salt lakes and sand dunes are scattered with shocks of colourful and unexpected vegetation, these dunes whistle as the winds descend on the desert creating an almost spiritual experience; it is this environment which has suggested the location for a temple. A sporadic series of stone alters and makeshift temples lie within the desert for nomadic peoples however this will act as an ephemeral monument to religious rituals and ceremonies. In Chinese Taoist and Buddhist temples incense burns as a way of purifying the community and its physical environment as well as meditation, a temple's inner spaces are scented with thick coiled incense, which are either hung from the ceiling or on special stands. The main idea behind the form is the unwinding of smoke and incense, the incense is composed of aromatic herbs and plants found in the Ordos desert. These incense coils are extruded as bells which can burn from hours to days, and is commonly produced and used by Chinese/Mongolian culture; this was the formal strategy using a coiled unwinding form which reflects not only the ever changing environment but the smoke associated with incense burning rituals contributing to the meditative quality of the building.
The inner structural core contains the Buddhas which become more and more evident as the worshiper walks around the design. Striated sections act as a veil similar to that of as smoke filled room, glimpses and views of the statues as well as the meditation areas give an ephemeral feel to the design. The worshiper walks around in ever decreasing circles eventually becoming closer to the Buddhas and the prayer/meditation area. Offerings are left on ledges which are a part of the main structure, they are a part of the entire scheme stretching out and across creating a series of winding elements that define the route through the design as well as the ceremonial rituals that are taking place.
The main structure consists of a steel core off which an highly polished series of steel and alluminium elements unwrap, they are cantilevered giving the idea of floating, a series of suspended materials which float like smoke defining areas into which the congregation can gather or find smaller more intimate areas to make offerings. Originally the design was to include the ancient ritual of sky burials as a nod to what up until recently was a common practice within Mongolia and Tibet, the practice itself continues but not a soften as during pre-Communist reign
The fluid nature of the design allows for the size of spaces to be modified as and when required. Ordos has a very strong identity regardless of the political and social changes it has faced, the practices are ingrained within the environment and etched into the people and their culture regardless of the latest extreme planning and architectural interventions the desert is not carte blanche and should never have been treated as such.
Culture embraces change but becomes impervious when that change is redundant of environment and ritual.
Orbital Magnetic levitating LED Light
By Margot Krasojevic
The 3d printed LED diffuser is made from a lightweight ceramic or a semi transparent UV cured acrylic which gives an ethereal glow when switched on. The light geometry is a symmetrical helix which can be balanced along a central axis depoending on which surface you wish to levitate it from, the semi- conducting base creates a magnetic field around it which enables you to position the light hovering over it, when gently pushed it rotates altering it's immediate surroundings. The light can also be hung like a static ceiling pendant. The LED is positioned within the surface of the light geometry or alternatively underneath the semiconducting base to allow for free movement and rotation.
Piezoelectric Playground. The Interactive Lumia Canopy in Pioneers park Belgrade
The Piezoelectric playground is a temporary structure designed for the Pioneers park in Belgrade, Serbia. It will be used as a bandstand and playground.
The canopy is a hyperbolic structure which folds in on itself draining rain water into the pool directly underneath it which diffracts light (acting as a prism) further magnifying the activities within the canopy structure. Movement agitates the semicondcuting piezoelectric crystal disks which as a result generate an electric current within the structure itself, this voltage controls the holographic glass clad canopy and optic fibre light projections choreographing a series of patterns which illuminate the immediate context according to the music or events occurring within the canopy. ; with the possible use of vibrating piezoelectric crystals releasing hydrogen and oxygen from the water molecules, piezoelectrochemical effect, supporting the hope that energy can be used to generate power from any structure which vibrates and produces noise, from passing traffic, children playing etc.
The canopy's geometry blurs the relationship between interior and exterior spaces; as it is a surface with one boundary, mathematically the form is non-orientable which focuses on the event as a way of defining it's physical presence on site.
The wooden frame's looping structure is clad in reinforced optical glass tubes which house optic fibre cables that direct the light through the canopy, the light patterns and strength is influenced by the circuit of piezoelectric crystals and diodes to change charge direction therefore continually altering the direction of light and intensity of projections depend on movement throughout the canopy or sound reverberations from music.
The canopy never lights up in the same way twice and our perception of the canopy glowing and projecting light describes a very different environment every time it is used as either a playground shelter or outdoor concert canopy.
This project was inspired by Thomas Wilfred's Clavilux projects from 1930.
Trolleybuses are electric vehicles which makes them more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel or hydrocarbon-based vehicles when implemented in the city. A trolleybus draws power from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles made from wood and metal, which complete the electrical circuit by transferring electricity from a "live" overhead wire to the control and the electric traction motors of the trolley bus, it is a type of current collector. The city of Belgrade uses trolleybuses as one of it's major modes of public transport with an extensive route stretching across the city and the suburbs.
Printed piezoelectric cells are embedded into the main body of the helix structure and the suspended cluster of conducting wires connecting the building to Belgrade's trolleybus infrastructure of overhead power lines. Piezoelectric materials generate electrical energy when subjected to mechanical strain, vibrational-energy harvesting is used in this design, generated by trolleybus pulses as they pass through the station and rain falling onto the cluster of suspended cables.
The piezocells are stacked within the folded cross section which further increases the vibration within the structure from the trolley-poles, the kinetic displacement deforms the semi-conductor cells, in turn amplifying the output; wind and rain also vibrate the cluster of steel wires which connect the project to existing overhead wires, the design acts as an electrical amplifier, providing street lighting, Internet WiFi access for immediate neighborhoods as well as offering an adaptive power port, commuters will be able to charge mobiles and smart cars at these trolleybus station gardens.
The trolleybus garden acts as a capacitor and transistor to step up the harnessed electrical energy, transforming AC current from the piezoelectric cells to DC current before it can be cached in the capacitor ready for distribution.
The Artificial Snow Cave Rope Camp
The hut offers a snowdrift frame made from weighted carbon fibre mesh, this contoured landscape mimics the surrounding vertiginous precipices and landscapes, the carbon fibre snowscape creates an artificial snow cave which can be dug into and around enabling climbers to inhabit the structure in a similar way to a snow cave. The composite carbon frame catches the snowdrift using snow as an insulating material, as it is a mesh structure pockets of rooms can be carved into the build up of snow as well as air vents to help with air circulation,it is possible to further insulate the structure by digging a small pit deeper into one part of the cave floor to provide a place for the coldest air to gather, away from the occupants, the entrance may be partially blocked with chunks of snow to deflect wind and retain heat.
Multiple layers of Silicium applied to the carbon fibre mesh produce an electric current from direct natural light, photovoltaics can be used to store this energy which is forced through the electrical resistance wire embedded within the mesh, creating heat energy and then cooling the structure to create an icy surface trapping snow for added insulation, and melting it away as necessary, which in the process contributes to strengthening & insulating the structure.
A wooden frame, sits within the artificial snow cave, suspends an elevation of climbing ropes creating a more flexible space which can be canvased if necessary, inspired by the snow lotus whose leaves are covered with dense white woolly hairs minimising frost damage at night and preventing ultraviolet light damage from the intense high altitude sunlight, with this principal in mind the rope structure sways attempting to prevent freezing, it is clamped to the wooden frame in sections and can be added to. The artificial snow cave landscape mesh is self supporting, it rests on the undulating parts of the contoured carbon fibre mesh. The structure is to be a part of the trekking experience as it is similar in nature to emergency shelters which can be escavated according to needs and party size.
Cell like modules within the rope structure contain sleeping quarters, holographic filters applied to the carbon roof panels control temperature and direct light into and throughout the sleeping modules and into the artificial snow cave below. Green photovoltaic panels control light and produce energy stored in the carbon fibre snow cave mesh.
The snow cave provides shelter at temperatures of 0C even if the outside temperature drops to -50 C; constructed by excavating snow so that the entrance tunnel enters below the main space to retain warm air, in this case within the snowscape mesh emerging into the wooden framed rope shelter. Construction is simplified by building it on a steep slope and digging slightly upwards and horizontally into the slope. The roof is domed to prevent dripping on the occupants and because it is made from mesh it is easier to clear ventilation holes avoiding suffocation. A narrow entrance tunnel leads into the main chamber which consists of a flat area with elevated sleeping platforms excavated from snow.
Dynamic Seismic Hotel Naples, Italy
The hotel's design and programmatic criteria involve the effects of earthquakes, tremors, and dislocations in the immediate environment. Italy has a long history of earthquakes and they are increasing in frequency, this design has been commissioned to contain and reduce the building's destruction and fatality as a result of earthquakes in the western province near Naples.
The hotel's plan consists of three separate elements which move away from each other when tremors are recorded by the hotel's seismometers. The building elements are constructed from a lightweight aluminium frame, annealed laminated glass panels and post-consumer recycled plastic panels which are strong yet malleable and light, making it easier to move away from the neighbouring element and slide along the length of the seismic parallelogram frame which they rest on. Once evacuated the fabricated panels fold with the frame as it rotates/moves with tremor. The interior platforms are directly attached to seismic dampers which vibrate but displacement is at a minimum helping with escape routes through the design.
The entire scheme sits on a series of parallelogram frames acting as seismic dampers, this grid of seismic isolation rubber bearings are partly exposed foundations, deforming and dislocating to ride out the tremors whilst reducing kinetic energy, the lightweight materials confine and reduce momentum. The isolators are a stack of lead and rubber plates which allow for greater deflection, the flexible joints absorb the external energy from an earthquake and dampen it reducing the amount of dislocation and damage to the aluminium frame and clad surfaces. The scheme is a shock absorber attaching itself to the landscape as the dampers lock down into the landscape upon the first recording of a seismic movement, anything above 5 on the Richter scale is treated as a potentially fatal situation and the building responds. The architecture dislocates and breaks apartreducing the impact of destruction, early earthquakewarning signs include water tray reverberations, the trays positioned around the design act as both a landscape feature and a tremor detection element, bird flight and the hotel aviary indicate an oncoming earthquake, this along with seismology readings and gps receivers attached to the seismic damper foundations, this grid of receivers detect an approaching tremor when an unnatural displacement in the landscape occurs over a larger area, or in this case the grounds of the hotel itself.
The architecture is choreographed by the earthquake, responding to the movement and minimising the impact of the kinetic energy. The software used to develop the design involves simulations in order to understand the effects of dislocations in the landscape.
The ice skating rink is located on a natural lake in the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia. Kamchatka is positioned high in the mountains surrounded by volcanic terrain, nearby nature reserves, hot springs and scenic routes through the peninsula make the area popular with tourists and locals.
The lake is exposed to bright daylight with winter temperatures averaging 20 F, ensuring the lake stays frozen over the winter months, the ice rink uses photovoltaic cells to generate an electrical current in order to freeze the lake throughout the year or when needed for ice hockey tournaments, the rink is flooded from below the surface to keep it frozen and strengthen the ice.
The project is multi-purpose, with an outdoor cinema and a natural geothermal spa, the design intends to reflect the fluid nature and ever changing state of the immediate environment. Geothermal turbines are also used to keep the lake at a frozen temperature and provide an energy source for the cinema. The precipitous mountain range has many natural hot springs and skiing ranges.
The ice rink is partly enclosed by a sequence of striated cedar wood sections which create a dynamic relationship with the environment and the project's programs; the form mimics frozen water in the wind a crystallized scheme, a moment captured from a choreographed ice skating movement, like the blades the sections cut through and across the lake they are choreographed around the existing lake linking in cross section to appropriate the continuous nature of ice skating.
Photovoltaic cells attached to the canopy hold the lighting and cinema projector outlets, providing the area with charging and docking stations, unused energy is fed back into the grid, they also absorb as much sunlight as possible to prevent the ice rink from melting; foldable seating act as platforms dotted around the main frame, creating a series of flexible spaces. The solar cinema projects onto the frozen structure, the design is partly enclosed for an ice solar cinema, an entirely self-sufficient projector which can be projected onto the ice covered surfaces of the skating rink, animating the design and presenting it as an all year all seasons sports and wellness center.
The lake freezes during the winter months and is used for hockey tournaments and as a skate park, a biodegradable LED net spans the area of the lake strengthening the ice and providing light and gadget/mobile charging stations during the evening.
The second stage of the project adapts the formal configuration of this ice skating rink so it is entirely run by solar energy in the Mongolian desert, the rink will be self-sufficient using renewable energy rather than harmful c02 refrigeration/mechanical refrigeration; capacitors store the electrical energy for night time use, a downshift in electrical consumption. A configuration of the striated canopy design will be used as a geothermal pavilion spa, geothermal turbines will generate enough electricity to be powered back into the grid, whilst the photovoltaic cells will replace the need for harmful refrigerants. The intention is to have an eco-friendly ice skating rink.
Constructed expanding Wetland
Broken Levee piers
Floating levee piers to trap sediment and divert freshwater:
This project adresses the rising water levels in the Mississippi river delta whose coastal plane is one of the largest wetlands and drainage basins in the United States, it drains on average 41% of the contiguous United States into the Gulf of Mexico at an average rate of 470,000 cubic feet per second.
The project introduces a series of tethered floating levee piers to divert rising water levels, these striated interlocking elements are positioned where freshwater meets saltwater to the east of the delta, protecting the freshwater wetlands by filtering and diverting.
The structure itself is a series of interlaced piers that project from the coastline, made from bio-degradable seeded concrete fibre mesh, these `tentacles' are released from the ceramicrete levee shell sections upon contact with rising water levels, they unfold and inflate into the oncoming swell sinking as they absorb water creating an artficial barrier trapping sediment and absorbing flood water. as they expand they trap sediment creating artifically engineered land . Each fully immersed tentacle expands and falls on top of the next creating a temporary wall preventing water from flooding the wetlands and destroying the natural habitat. Once the floods stabilise the tentacles are emptied, using pumps the water is redirected out of the delta and released in more environmentally stable landcapes which may require water irrigation. The tentacles expand on impact with floodwater pressure.
These interlocking levee's are open ended structures that capture sediment and allow for the natural movement across the delta, acting like nets trapping and creating a framework onto which the sediment can lodge and grow in depth and density in order to increase the land building sediment whilst attempting to dampen waves functioning as a breakwater, absorbing energy and protecting the shoreline from further damage.
Solar Chapel Cluster, Franschhoek South Africa
Solar Chapel at the HoldenManz WineEstate, Franschhoek, Cape Town. The project utilizes the same solar panel technology used on the farm to clad a dynamic expanding wedding chapel's roof structure. The vertiginous mountains within the estate are reflected in the beton brut primary structure off which the concentrator Fresnel lenses, solar panels and holographic filtered panels are suspended. The solar panel arrangement is similar to the angular configuration of a butterfly’s wing receiving more exposure to solar rays affording a maximum electrical output efficiency, the frame expands and contracts enabling a further re-arrangement of this concentrator photovoltaic cluster. The concentrator lenses use fewer solar cells to harness the same solar energy as twice the amount without the concentrator Fresnel lenses, the lenses can be programmed to follow the sun in tandem as it moves across the sky taking full advantage of available sunlight, the sliding steel frames onto which they are supported allow for more movement and maximum exposure to solar rays. The main problem we are facing is to cool the concentrator photovltaics, high concentration ratios also introduce a heat problem. When solar radiation is concentrated, so is the amount of heat produced, reducing cell efficiencies as temperatures increase, and higher temperatures also threaten the long-term stability of solar cells, therefore, the solar cells must be kept cool in a concentrator system, requiring sophisticated heat sync cooling designs, in this case the vineyards irrigation system.
The chapel sits within the vineyard amongst an array of existing solar screens, with the help of the holographic panels it also concentrates and intensifies the solar energy which can be stored and accessed as and when required. The chapel is used for religious fellowship and is a free standing structure epitomizing the duality of the monumental context and the process of wine making.
Concentrator photovoltaics (CPV)
A CPV system uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate sunlight, the Solar Chapel concentrated Fresnel lenses capture the solar energy shining on a fairly large area then focus that energy onto a smaller area, where the solar cell is located. Concentrators increase the electrical energyoutput by 50%.
The design proposal is for a pedestrian bridge commissioned by the Ordos government to cross the Wulanmulun River, located in Ordos city, Kangbashi district Mongolia.
The bridge consists of a main floating section which gives buoyant support to three expanding walkways, and a carbon fiber triple sail which is raised and lowered by the buoyancy rotator, the bridge is a flexible structure and can relocate by sailing along the river to its new location, it folds with multiple sections that stack into each other.
A hydraulic telescopic secondary structure supports the pedestrian walkway, expanding and contracting into the main body of the primary structure this movement depends on where the sailboat bridge is berthed or sailing to; the bridge can be moored along the quayside, sailed into any location along the river or permanently positioned using Caisson foundations which are floated and sunk into position stabilising the bridge, screw-in moorings provide further stabilising along with nine ton anchors to prevent drift. The bridge's flexible walkways adapt to different quays and spans across the river, expanding and folding accordingly; The hydraulic walkway is supported by the river banks landing docks whilst the main body of the bridge is kept afloat by the sail and it's rotator, the walkway and ring frame's weight distribution prevents capsize, the primary ring frame has eight marine floatation airbags to further stabilise the sail rotation.
The sails are made from a lightweight aluminum frame clad in a carbon fiber reinforced polymer, they are suspended from a rotating Mobius ballast chamber hydraulically operated by a thruster to rotate and fill with water in order to revolve the sail and relocate the bridge, the rotating Mobius element is made from lightweight aluminium enveloped in stabilizer fins and photovoltaic cells which power the thruster, it consists of five ballast tanks which fill with water which rotate the sail from horizontal to vertical, the other four tanks are left filled with air so that the sail remains buoyant when used either as a bridge or sailed to a new position.
An array of cylindrical crossflow turbines skim the water's surface, acting as a raft their buoyancy helps support and stabilise the bridge's primary structure.
When the bridge is in use the sail is lowered and acts as a canopy over a seated area for people to enjoy the views and the platform gardens, it unhinges from the hydraulic triangular section ring frame and rotates into vertical position in order to sail down the river.
Solar panels line the walkway providing energy for the three electric motor generators, the bridge can be towed, sailed or motored into different locations along the Wulanmulun River.
Official name of the project: Revolving Solar Sail bridge
Location: Ordos, Kangbashi, Mongolia
Client: Ordos governemnt, Inner Mongolia, China
Architects/ Designers: Margot Krasojević
Project manager: Margot Krasojević
Collaborators: Out to tender
Photo credits/ Photographer(s): Margot Krasojević
About Margot Krasojević
Margot Krasojevic has been developing a dialogue between architectural form, geometry, sustainability and smart materials as an inherent part of the design process, dictating the terms of the architectural design criteria rather than referring to sustainable technology as a polite afterthought. Renewable energy and how to optimize the collaboration between program, typology, and architecture has always been at the forefront of the studio's research and design approach.
Following her Masters and Ph.D in 1997 and 2003 respectively architecture has become the tool through which to explore environmental change and renewable energy sources.
The hurricane house is located near the Louisiana coastline which has a history of hurricanes and their destructive effects, due to Louisianna's location along the Gulf of Mexico and bordering the Atlantic ocean storms accelerates descending on the state from the coast of Africa which is where they are formed.
It is recorded that hurricanes twist around the eye of the storm, always in the same direction which is anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the South. To determine the design criteria the nature of the hurricane is considered, hurricanes consist of a ring of thunderstorms extending up to 15km's known as the eyewall, this is where the heaviest rain and strongest winds which can exceed 120 miles an hour rotate. The scheme uses the hurricane's strength to slowly turn part of the structure along its helicoid retaining wall, burying itself as it turns by using wind direction to mobilize its hydraulic pivots. For this house to withstand environmental loads like winds it must be flexible enough to move with the hurricane, yet provide enough resistance and weight, to dig itself into its own excavated engineered landscape.
The house has a main superstructure which holds the living accommodation, it can move along a helicoid retaining wall, excavating as it does so. The building's core is a reinforced concrete anchor under which a grid of root-like cable foundations spread, pinned into the landscape this anchor supports the superstructure by using a series of hydraulic column lifts which pivot to turn the building, excavating its own substructure as the main living area moves, the immediate context provides different levels into which the building can rotate, burying itself into the already partly excavated landscape to protect itself from the hurricane. The architecture is choreographed by the wind direction of the hurricane, turning with it.
The excavated ground is pushed away whilst the artificial island surrounding the building acts as a canopy moving water away from the building. Solar panels line the island's floor plate panels and edged by a ring of turbines, the turntable like design consists of sixty-four separate timber sections that act as an irrigation field directing rain and floodwater away from the building, these contained sections are deeper closer to the building in order to help with efficient drainage, they act like a water screw.
The building's main living space is constructed from a pre-cast reinforced concrete frame, this lightweight structure has a series of rubber-coated, concertina wall sections, providing flexibility to adapt during the building's movement and circulation needs. The house is enclosed by an artificial island which is landscaped to flush flood water away from the main living area, it's surrounding topsoil navigates rain and flood water to drain into the deeper soil and away from the structure, similar to a bioswale. The macrophyte plants create a constructed wetland, this ecological residence aids land reclamation and water purification reducing any floodwater pollutants resulting from the hurricane. The wetland absorbs and temporarily stores floodwater releasing it slowly to avoid further damage to the surrounding area.
The force of the hurricane does not exert extreme pressure build up as it skims over and around the entire building, whilst the building's movement reflects the force dissipating it as the scheme twists. The building's dead load gives it resistance to turn slowly enough when exposed to sustained winds over 70 miles an hour without causing further damage to the structure, but fast enough to avoid the hurricane's full force.
The origin and concept of this commission was for a spa in Kunming, China, on behalf of the Yunnan metallurgical group, the program and location has since changed due to the client's interest in the research and support of renewable energy, ecological and environmental land preservation.
Sustainable Hemp and medical marijuana farm
Medical cannabis cultivation and agriculture in Catalonia.
The outdoor medical marijuana farm is located near Barcelona.
Catalonia, where only recently medical marijuana growth has become legal and recognized as the next frontier of agricultural growth, along with Colorado which was one of the first two states to legalize marijuana in 2012.
This building is specifically designed for the medicinal cultivation of marijuana, whose criteria addresses the three stages of growth. The building is surrounded by hemp fields as hemp is the major contributing building material.
The clients asked for a portable and deployable yet sustainable marijuana greenhouse. The three stages of marijuana growth specifically for medical use need to sustain a high TCH level for epilepsy and other medical conditions (arthritis, pain relief, multiple sclerosis, and tumor seizures).
The environment is perfect for maintaining the necessary temperature, humidity, and air circulation to ensure a good harvest.
The main cantilevered structure is built using hempcrete. The immediate context is miles of hemp fields, a plant which grows quickly and has been used for thousands of years as part of the building material infrastructure. Hemp is a sustainable material which regulates temperature and humidity, yet when mixed with a lime-based binder it becomes stronger than concrete, this amazing building material is breathable and absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, locking it in, the process of organic hemp to building material petrifies cellulose to strengthen it creating a type of stone stronger than concrete without the need for mixing toxic concrete on site, hemp offers a lightweight yet carbon neutral (negative if insulated correctly) material which is invaluable for a safe sustainable building and site.
The design consists of three main area addressing the three stages of marijuana growth.
The main hemp primary structure is a cantilevered frame, the depth of this element contains retractable drip feed irrigation tubes which can be wound in and out of the main structure depending on the size of the external growth fields. The drip feed irrigation uses rainwater which is filtered through the frame through which the necessary nutrients are fed to attain a ph level of 6.5, this sustains a perfect feeding routine from seedling, vegetative stage through to flowering and harvest. This main primary structure contains a deployable inflated structure which provides the perfect climate for the three stages, it is made from ETFE membrane coated hem-plastic, lined with filters intensifying LED's to aid growth it also is not a complete element as it is inflated in sections creating gaps for natural ventilation depending on the level and pressure of inflation. Air circulation prevents root rot, mold and nutrient burn/light burn. The entire structure needs to be flexible in order for it to breathe with the environment.
The inner section of the primary frame holds a series of rectangular frames which pivot within the primary structure, these frames provide the required pressure for the drip feed irrigation, they need to be flexible in order to cater to the potential harvest which may alter depending on the season.
The entire scheme is mobile in order to create the best environment for seedlings and vegetation, once the vegetative stage is over and the flowering stage begins it is set as an automatic feeding frame until harvest, after which it moves to a new location where appropriate.
The building's primary frame is made from hempcrete which is made on site, it takes approximately 4 months for the hemp to be grown on site after which it is harvested to produce hempcrete, a material that emits no moisture yet sequesters carbon from the environment. Hemp is also used to produce hemp plastic, a bio-plastic sourced from hemp which is not only biodegradable but also recyclable. The filter tinted hemp plastic can be reused and reformed to deploy for the next harvest, hemp plastic is a biodegradable, compostable alternative to petroleum-based plastics, which can feed the farm's hemp plants once recycled. Hemp plastic starts to bio-degrade after 28 days, after 30 months it is completely reabsorbed into the environment.
The LED lights which are fueled by solar panels can vary from 300nm to a maximum of 800nm depending on the growth stage. An alternative design allows for different yields which have different growth stages to co-exist within the same deployable structure but the environments are separate catering to the need of the growth stage accordingly. Using LED lights reduces the watering frequency of the cannabis plants.
Rainwater is filtered as it flows through the secondary frame, to which nutrients are added by the time water reaches the plants it is at a perfect PH level needed for each stage of growth.
The design's drip feed irrigation tubes follow paths through and around the building. they also act as a SCROG mesh which controls the marijuana growths exposure to LED and natural light. The flexible irrigation tubes pump water and nutrients to the plants whether they are within the inflatable structure or outdoors when nearing harvest. These gravity fed irrigation tubes are made from hemp plastic and are re-molded on site as necessary, they can also be 3d printed using solar energy. This is a safe way of reproducing and recycling parts for the building's growth process.
The entire scheme is an environmental drip feed irrigation system which is designed to provide the perfect growth environment for medical marijuana. Building materials sourced on site come from the similar plant as marijuana but without the THC levels needed for medical potency.
We are currently designing a sustainable farm for Britain as it is the largest exporter of medical marijuana, the environment will dictate the terms of the design criteria.
Self-Excavation Hurricane House winning project for The Best Future Building of LEAF awards 2018.
The project brief is to design an offshore lighthouse hotel. The design criteria address renewable energy, harnessing wave energy to generate electricity by using the building's form.
New building typologies should replace redundant ones, creating symbiotic relationships between various programs and supporting renewable energy by harnessing it as part of the building's infrastructure, whereby interdisciplinary research helps define sustainable appropriation.
The lighthouse hotel's current location is off the coast of mainland South Korea near the island of Jeju, The site is accessible by boat through waters between 1500 ‒ 7000 ft deep. South Korea has a large number of offshore wind turbine farms, and since 2006 has invested in producing large-sized wind turbines and oil rigs in their shipbuilding yards. Industrial and shipbuilding contractors have been fabricating the wind turbines, and I believe that the shipbuilding industry along with marine engineering can inspire building processes that focus on harnessing renewable energy to perform efficiently in difficult environments like the open sea, whilst protecting the environment. The lighthouse hotel reappropriates an existing oil rig, using the tension leg platform for structural support onto which the hotel is designed.
The lighthouse hotel design is made up of three building elements that contain the hotel's living, lobby and social areas. Layered aluminium surface elevations, which are wrapped around the hotel' s building elements and suspended from the pivoting primary structure, enclose flipwing turbines to produce electrical energy when they are lowered into the sea. Seawater crashes into the aluminium panels, flipping over the hydropower turbines that are caught like barnacles between the layers of aluminium clad surfaces. The flipwing turbines flex as water flows over them, similar to an oscillating wave surge converter. The flipwings are connected to the elevations which will securely hold the turbine, allowing the fins to oscillate backwards and forwards for greater effect.
The turbine elevation movements are choreographed by the pivot wheel hydraulic frame section. This pivot wheel is bolted to the primary structure to reduce fatigue stress caused by changing loads due to movement and load redistribution. The pivot wheel moves and tilts, lowering and revolving the elevations according to wind and wave direction for optimum generated energy.
Lifting the turbine elevations out of the water minimises saltwater corrosion; all the materials used are easy to procure and replace, while the cladding comes in a modular format, making it easier to repair. The turbines lie flat against the elevation when inactive. They are robust, easier to position vertically and cheap in comparison to propeller turbines, although not as efficient, which is why they are layered in this scheme. Sacrificial anodes are scattered throughout the structure so as to negate corrosion; as Zinc has higher negative electrochemical potential than steel, the anodes protect the primary structure from marine biofouling.
The flipwing turbines convert kinetic water energy into electrical energy, generating enough to run the lighthouse and desalination filters. Any surplus energy is stored. The process also aims to reduce water consumption by storing rainwater, desalinating seawater, implementing grey-water systems and reclaiming water.
The lighthouse hotel sits on a tension leg platform which works in the same way as a taut, moored buoy. The tethered buoyant structure is a large, semi-submersible floating vessel, which uses a heavy gravity vacuum anchor that fastens it to the seabed. The tension force is maintained in these vertical cables by adjusting the buoyancy of the floating platform, ensuring positive tension at all times. This method reduces marine response in the platform to effectively zero in vertical terms and very little horizontally. Horizontal drift can be further reduced as required. Using buoyancy against a tension mooring system allows the use of a semi-submersible floating platform, which can carry an additional load that it balances out by increasing buoyancy.
The hotel is fabricated from a series of partly inflated, moulded ETFE membrane sections. Lightweight yet durable, these airlock sections split apart and float in the event of a rogue wave or an emergency. The lantern room, located at the top of the hotel, is revealed when the elevations lower during storms. The Fresnel glass lantern light projects out over the entire area, creating an illuminated glass canopy lobby. The refracted light intensifies as it beams through and out into its surroundings, blurring the edges between interior and exterior space.
The original design envisaged storing water within the elevations as potential energy; the elevations are in effect the hydroelectric station. However, the weight of the water-filled elevations would place too much stress on the structure which would need to be maintained regularly, increasing the cost of running the hotel. Pockets within the elevation would fill with sea water and store it until this potential kinetic energy is needed to generate electricity, acting in a manner similar to high and low reservoir dams. The elevations release the stored sea water back through the embedded turbines. During a storm, seawater stored within the elevations braces the lighthouse against wind and water forces.
A primary concern with this design approach is the different heights of the water reservoirs, which requires water to be pumped into the elevated reservoirs during periods of low demand, to be released for generation when demand is high or system generation is low, thus reducing the overall process efficiency because of this energy consumption; whereas the most significant factor that determines new technology is whether it effectively addresses the energy production output vs the energy input for a sufficient amount of energy produced. As with all technological applications, these designs need to be tested in order to recalibrate them to be a more energy efficient and comprehensible presence in design.
Caisson foundations and gravity anchors secure the tension leg platform, so that there is no vertical movement, only horizontal displacement which is kept to a minimum. The platform is held in place by steel tension cables embedded into the ocean floor using a gravity anchor. Oil rig construction has inspired the overall structural design of the lighthouse. During storms, the suspended elevations are lowered just enough, so that the light emitted by the beacon projects over the sea elevations. An increasing number of lighthouses are being decommissioned because of technological and functional obsolescence, whereas the remaining lighthouses come into play in case of GPS or electronic navigational failures.
A hotel has to regenerate its identity to keep up with changing trends and customer demands. Such potential obsolescence exists in technology as it does in finance, from the use of Bitcoins, smart materials and biodiversity to space travel hospitality. We are increasingly becoming a society reliant on social platform reimbursements and precedents, as we strive to be accepted, relevant and informed, because of which we are more readily influenced to experiment with new choices. More and more "experts" dictate our peripheral understanding of sustainability, and there are many we could listen to. The truth, however, is that we are constantly being exposed to improvements to our current persuasions, whether in travel or recycling. Given increasing environmental awareness or the wide range of experiences and themes available when choosing vacations, we can now experiment and become adventurers and explorers. Inevitably, the hotel industry needs to keep up. This is more so because hotels are temporal, needing to reinvent themselves and the tourism and hospitality experience in order to avoid becoming typologically redundant. I believe a cross-programmatic approach will ensure that sustainability and renewable energy remain at the forefront of design criteria and programs. Hotels frequently innovate, and they can accommodate experimental design approaches catering to individuals who want to experience a unique getaway. The lighthouse hotel offers volunteer opportunities for guests to engage with biodiversity and renewable energy. Enabling travellers to challenge themselves and to engage with conservation efforts, positively contributing to protecting ecosystems, will be a transformational travel experience. This could mean anything from offering an off-the-grid meditation retreat to facilitating volunteer work with non-profit organisations.
Ocean and seawater designs should embrace renewable energy. The oceans are vast areas of seawater which warm up and retain solar energy; 70% of the earth's surface is covered by water, which captures sunlight that can be transformed into useable electrical energy. The only problem is, the difference between the depth temperatures, from cool to warm water, involves using a lot of energy to extract the ocean’s thermal energy. Using ammonia which has a lower boiling point will lower the energy needed for the extraction process, but is it still beneficial? Not enough research has been done to find the most efficient manner to extract ocean thermal energy. Both warm and cold seawater are pumped into heat exchangers that separate the different fluids. Ammonia, which has a low boiling point of room temperature, is fed into one heat exchanger. The warm seawater in an adjacent heat exchanger boils the ammonia to create vapour. The pressurised vapour goes through a pipe to run a turbine connected to a generator that produces electricity. After the ammonia vapour leaves the turbine, it descends through a pipe into a chamber surrounded by tubes of cold seawater. The ammonia vapour is cooled and becomes a liquid again, thus continuing the cycle; not the most efficient of processes, but a beginning, certainly.
I believe we should integrate renewable energy as a part of the design process by defining symbiotic relationships between typologies; for example, hotels with power plants that can generate enough energy to sustain the building, and discarding redundant typologies in order to redefine new ones, as a cross-programmatic, cross-disciplinary effort. One of the most important issues to keep in mind is ensuring that the implementation of technologies dealing with renewable energy, conservation and sustainability does not negatively affect the ecosystems which we are tapping into. This is why, I believe, we need to combine functions in order to produce energy; a power plant that enhances and embraces the ecosystem rather than exploits it to generate energy regardless of repercussions. Off-coast constructions alter their immediate environment by leaking structural maintenance pollutants into the sea. The moving parts of devices can harm resident or migratory wildlife, even static installations can alter breeding and feeding behaviour through animals having to avoid the devices. Ecosystems can also be affected by altering or removing energy from the physical environment, and devices can change water flow, which may affect water quality, wave height, the delivery of nutrients and the natural transport of sediment that ensures coastal protection. These impacts could eventually disrupt food webs and the stability of the ecosystem. To conclude, we still face the delicate balance between artificial and manmade—when to claim, be subservient, alter or even pause—in order to harness renewable energy whilst protecting the natural character of the environment. We can afford to be a little tougher with the changing climate, even as change is happening and in an aggressive manner; the trick is knowing when and how much to intervene. Even with renewable energy production, the methods often negatively contribute to both environmental and financial costs rather than reducing operational costs whilst increasing efficiency. This should not discourage us, though. The way forward is to research more and redefine obsolete building typologies by creating new ones or recycling the old.
The term "obsolescence" was first applied to the built environment in 1910 in an attempt to explain American skyscrapers' sudden loss of value. New York engineer Reginald P. Bolton attributed this phenomenon to "something new and better out-competing the old" and calculated the average architectural lifespan of varying building types in order to formulate a rough estimate for their impending obsolescence. For example, he suggested that a hotel's obsolescence will occur faster than banks’, due to their ever-changing functions and customer tastes.