Pacific Coast Centers for Ocean Health

Finalist in the Metropolis Next Generation Competition 2008

Designed by Charles Lee

The building program strives to create a collective learning, living and working environment in the same spirit as many of the species that thrive in our coastal waters. The building is a incubator for experimentation and exploration in research that will lead to a healthier coastal environment. The exterior envelope of the buildings will be a consistent geometric genotype that phenotypically responds to the specific siting at each harbour. The proposed centers highlight new technologies that utilize the ocean as the sustainable source of building energy, heating and cooling. The proposed interpretive center functions like many sea animals found within the intertidal zone of the Pacific coast, inflating and deflating to respond to environmental conditions. It also functions as living system that collects and recycles various forms of greywater and runoff through filtering wetlands on the exterior and interior of the buildings. The building uses wood from locally managed coastal forest. Many of the skins and surfaces of the building are made of recycled plastics and products derived from the sea. The building is supported by spread footings and pilings in opposition to traditional concrete slab techniques. Parking lots and assembly areas are porous material that emphasizes a connection with the natural earth and allows for sustainable drainage practices. Data networks are organized using the same principles found in succesful living networks operating in the coastal waters, ideas of redundancy, cellular cooperation and various forms of communication and navigation will be present in bouy networks connected to the interpretive centers. Please click on images twice to enlarge to full size.

Images by Charles Lee


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