Student Works: Smart-Ark

[10 living, breathing, sweating towers for a line of defense in a fragile estuary. All images by Nicholas Szczepaniak.]

[10 living, breathing, sweating towers for a line of defense in a fragile estuary. All images by Nicholas Szczepaniak.]

Acting as a defense barrier, these 10 massive towers form a line in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, UK. They are the vision of Nicholas Szczepaniak, a recent graduate of Westminster, and the winner of the RIBA Presidents Medal. The project, titled "A Defensive Architecture," envisions these towers simultaneously as a militarized coastal defense and a repository of knowledge in the form of a library ... a kind of smart-ark.

[Defense infrastructure within the estuary and a detail of the approach.]

[Defense infrastructure within the estuary and a detail of the approach.]

The towers collectively act as a bellwe(a)ther for the environment. They are "breathing, creaking, groaning, sweating and crying when stressed." The enclosure is shrouded in air bags that inflate and deflate to register subtle changes in temperature and climate. Jellyfish-like cables dangle below the facade platform and are able to spray seawater onto the heated facade emitting steam. The project conveys nothing short of iconic enviro-veillance.

[Elevation of a typical tower with tensioing hose cables dangling below.]

[Elevation of a typical tower with tensioing hose cables dangling below.]

[Plan of tower showing interior space of inertia with circulation core to the left and tensioning system on the right.]

[Plan of tower showing interior space of inertia with circulation core to the left and tensioning system on the right.]

The towers collect silt deposits at their bases providing a naturally built-up barrier to intensifying coastal waves. The interior is a water-proofed container for books and archives, complete with a massive reading room. This elevated book vault, called "the space of inertia," sits within a fly tower bound by a tensioned soffitt and the air-baggy enclosure.

[Sectional view of the reading wall.]

[Sectional view of the reading wall.]

[The sugar wall.]

[The sugar wall.]

A sugar curtain grows and retracts seasonally, portraying immediate shifts in the weather or climate. So sweet.

dh_viewup

Found via Bustler.

Category: 
Information/DataSecurityStudent Work

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