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Regatta H2O, First Place winner of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Christopher Sjoberg and Ryo Saito
Artist Location: Tokyo, Japan
Energy Technologies: Aerostatic Flutter Wind Harvesting (WindBelt™)
Water Harvesting Technologies: fog harvesting
Annual Capacity: 70 MWh (used on site) and 112 million liters of drinking water

What makes a human-made form beautiful? What makes a natural landscape beautiful?

Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, but both powerful forms and landscapes elicit strong emotional attachments, and the experience of them can inspire people into action. While each may be evaluated on their own merits and qualities, rarely do they come together without controversy.

Yet there are some man-made forms so universally associated with their landscapes, and so steadfastly imprinted in the collective imagination—the red dairy barns of pastoral America, the terraced rice paddies of Southern China, the whitewashed villas of hilltop Greece—that they become an inseparable element of the natural landscape’s identity. The sea is no different, and since civilizations first began navigating the oceans by harnessing the wind, the billowing forms of sail and mast have occupied an omnipresent place in the mental image of the seaside.

Regatta H2O repurposes this familiar maritime form as infrastructure, which harvests fog to create fresh water and harnesses the wind in order to power its operations.

The sails of Regatta H2O are fog-harvesting meshes. Collection troughs are designed as veins within the sail surface, transporting harvested moisture to the mast where it can be piped to storage vessels at the Santa Monica Pier. When the moisture content of the air falls below a certain threshold, the sails are retracted to reveal the horizon line of the Pacific Ocean.

While water is harvested passively, some electrical power is need to operate the pumping and steering mechanisms, and deployment of the sails. This energy is extracted from the wind via a device known as a WindBelt™, which relies on an oscillating belt suspended between two electro-magnets. Each of the Regatta H2O masts contains eight such generating units along its length.

At night, light rings beneath each wind band pulsate with the intensity of power being generated. This also serves as a navigational safety device, alerting boats of their presence in the dark.

Through an artistic and technological re-imagining of millenniums-old science, Regatta H2O shows that the union of the natural environment with the climatic benefits of sustainable energy and water infrastructure can have powerful and positive impacts on how we perceive cherished landscapes.

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The Ocean Still: Lagrimas de Santa Monica, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Nuith Morales, Stephanie Hsia, Courtney A. Goode, Michelle Arevalos Franco, and Helen E. Kongsgaard
Artist Location: Boston, USA
Energy Technologies: Solar Distillation
Annual Capacity: 9 million liters of drinking water

The twin springs that inspired Santa Monica’s name were fabled to be the tears of a saint. At a time of growing thirst in California, The Ocean Still augments this sacred source of water by transforming seawater into fresh water, using only the energy of the sun. A large, transparent enclosure—a solar still perched on the old breakwater—makes a surface for collecting the saint’s pure tears once again. This simple, pre-modern technology concentrates sunlight, distills saltwater, and condenses fresh water on a glass shell. The entire breakwater structure, including the passive solar still and its complex of pools, celebrates the many forms of water as well as the residue of desalination.

Fusing urban needs and pleasure, the expanded breakwater complex recalls the history of the Santa Monica Pier as municipal sewage utility and its vital role in urban metabolism. Now, as before, the processes that make city life possible are tied to entertainment and destination—water production as spectacle.

Inside the “still” solar radiant heat is absorbed and concentrated. The seawater evaporates. As it condenses on the glass shell, a collection channel diverts the pure distillate into a cistern and to the pier. The angled glass walls face due south, absorbing maximum solar heat and exploiting the flow of prevailing westerly and southwesterly winds.

The concentrated saline brine that results from desalination exits from a low point into the “brine pool”—a long, deep swimming pool that induces the body to float. Swimmers churn the brine water with their movements, maintaining the water at a consistent density.

When the brine waters approach the pool’s capacity they flow onto the “mixing beach.” Here, short walls allow for waves to crash and stir the concentrate—brine mixing with seawater. This slow reclamation of diluted brine back to the Pacific Ocean prevents the dead zones associated with industrial desalination. The shallow slope of sand and gravel at the “mixing beach” creates a protected habitat for marine fauna, and an idyllic floating coast for California sunbathers.

The Ocean Still encourages hope in simple technologies that will not readily become obsolete. Drought and thirst cannot be easily solved at the push of a button. Thoughtful interventions in our lives and landscapes, beyond providing solutions, have the capacity to engage the desires and delights of the senses.

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Flowerpops

Flowerpops, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Augusto Audissoni, Silvia Cama, Elisabetta Lo Grasso, Elisa Tozzi, Nicolò Mossin
Artist Location: Genoa, Italy
Energy Technologies: Vortex Bladeless™ Wind Turbine, Thin Film Solar (similar to AltaDevices™), Point Absorber Buoy Wave Energy Converter
Annual Capacity: 13,000 MWh

Just off the Santa Monica Pier there is an artificial giant garden, vibrant and full of life, with everything moving and the sound of the wind whistling between the stems. Here and there one part of the system catches the eye for a moment. As Lewis Carroll suggests, perhaps it is necessary to invert the size relationships between humans and nature to uncover the laws that regulate the balance between the parties.

Flowerpops integrates a new technology park with the spectacular character of its ocean setting. The famous funfair skyline on Santa Monica Bay is extended toward the horizon line near the breakwater. Five different technologies for energy production are brought together there. The devices are designed in five natural shapes in order to compose an artificial ecosystem.

“Wind flowers” come in four different sizes and use Vortex Bladeless™ technology. “Flying pollen” are realized in colored PET-G plastic, they weigh no more than 750 grams and they are driven by a mechanical system, set in motion by the energy produced by some “wind flowers.” “Floating water lilies” exploit wave power and are configured as a carpet of undulating buoys that dot the sea horizon. The “tulip binders” are pools of rainwater harvesters that raise and lower depending on the difference of pressure generated by the water collection. “Sun flowers” use photovoltaic film to convert sunlight into electricity.

During the passing of the day the surrounding playground changes according to weather and time. In the night the stored energy powers over 2,000 LED lights, reflecting the effect of the starry sky onto the ocean.

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CaliforniaPower
click on the image above to access the full-size PDF

California has enacted an ambitious carbon reduction policy to bring emissions down to 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2030. We decided to take a look at what the land use impact of energy has been on California in the past, and what a real shift to a 100% renewable energy infrastructure might look like.

The information graphic is the latest in our series that explores the land use impact of renewable energy in a post-carbon world. Starting in 2009 with the Surface Area Required to Power the World with Solar, we have been making the case that the renewable energy transition, while a huge undertaking, is not any more ambitious in scale than previous human endeavors, and that the footprint on our environment can be designed to be in harmony with nature and provide a unique benefit to human culture.

In this graphic, we show a diversified mix of renewable energy technologies and the impact in terms of land area in direct proportion to consumption by county (you can quickly see that Los Angeles County is the biggest consumer). Much of the infrastructure can be located within our cities—on rooftops and through creative and community-owned applications in public spaces. The rest could easily be located in the places that have already been disturbed by oil and gas extraction—the dark dots on the map.

By enlisting these fossil fuel land areas in the fight against climate change, we can keep the CO2 the ground while we clean up the sky.

oil-well-landuseThis is what all of the 227,278 dark dots on the map look like up close (near Bakersfield, CA)

In the course of our research, we came across the MIT study, The Future of Solar Energy, which also includes a section that studies land use comparisons. We were fascinated to learn that across the entire US, the land area required to satisfy 100% of U.S. 2050 energy demand with PV would be no larger than the surface area that has already been “disturbed by surface mining for coal.” Some other comparisons from the study:

The land area required to supply 100% of projected U.S. electricity demand in 2050 with PV installations is roughly half the area of cropland currently devoted to growing corn for ethanol production, an important consideration given the neutral or negative energy payback of corn ethanol and other complications associated with this fuel source. That same land area&emdash;i.e., 33,000 km2 to supply 100% of U.S. electricity demand with PV&emdash;is less than the land area occupied by major roads. The currently existing rooftop area within the United States provides enough surface area to supply roughly 60% of the nation’s projected 2050 electricity needs with PV

MIT-Future-of-Solar-Energy
Diagram from The Future of Solar Energy, Chapter 6: PV Scaling and Materials Use

California is acting on a plan (read more about the Governor’s Climate Change Pillars: 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals) that should set the standard for the entire country. By reaching 50% renewable electricity production, reducing petroleum use in transportation by 50%, and increasing energy use efficiency, these 2030 goals can provide the momentum for a 100% renewable energy economy by 2050.

Recognizing the unprecedented global threat of human induced climate change, we do not have the luxury of acting any less vigorously than California on a global scale, and in fact, that may not even be fast enough. Don’t ask how much it will cost because that is the wrong question. What will be the cost to the children born in 2016 if we do not act now? The technology exists to begin today, and the economic stimulus effect of a WPA-scale regenerative infrastructure project for the 21st century will bestow positive benefits for generations.

Let’s get to work!

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Follies and Fog a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Nik Klahre, Brooke Campbell-Johnston
Artist Location: London, UK and Copenhagen, Denmark
Energy Technologies: Wave Energy Converter
Annual Capacity: 13,000 MWh, less the energy required to power fog generation

Renewable energy of the future does not need to be a blot on the landscape, or an affliction on local ecosystems, but can instead float harmlessly and almost invisibly just below the ocean’s surface. Follies and Fog celebrates the notion that today’s renewable energy sources do not require exterior cladding or to be fashioned into interesting forms, but instead can remain hidden and out of sight, while providing sustainable energy for the city.

The artwork makes visible the hidden wave energy production units below the surface of the ocean, but also uses a small amount of wave energy to conceal itself in a fog mist. As the amount of renewable energy produced nears the target of powering 1,280 homes, the amount of artificial fog is so great that it completely engulfs the artwork in a cloud of mist, obscuring it from view. It is only when the renewable energy source begins to wane as the waves become less powerful that the viewer is able to perceive the work of art within the cloud of artificial fog.

The design proposes 128 floating follies, each symbolizing the archetypal Santa Monica dwelling and its need for energy. Each of the bright red follies is an abstraction of a house type found in a district of Santa Monica. The follies are connected to a floating grid of buoy-type wave energy converters. Each folly is directly responsible for powering 10 homes within the City of Santa Monica.

A walkway invites visitors to follow the line of the original Santa Monica Pier—a train line that extended out into the sea. There they can walk along this floating path surrounded by the abstract floating houses, as if walking along Santa Monica Boulevard.

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Breakwater Make Water a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Elizabeth Case (University of Edinburgh)
Artist Location: Wallingford, UK
Energy Technologies: Point Absorber Buoy Wave Energy Converter (similar to Ocean Power Technologies™)
Water Harvesting Technologies: Fog Harvesting (similar to FogQuest™)
Annual Capacity: 400 MWh and 13 million liters of drinking water

Not often is there an opportunity to generate ideas for an offshore location and to create a feature that directly responds to its maritime setting. The scale of the site means it is very visible from around the whole Bay of Santa Monica, California. Breakwater – Make Water is therefore an installation that is both eye-catching and visually sensitive to its setting.

Contributing to Santa Monica’s strong identity is the fog that comes rolling in off the Pacific Ocean almost every morning. Using a technology similar to that already successfully used in projects in South America, fog-harvest netting is shaped into sails to recall the harbour that once occupied the site.

Energy generation is accomplished by way of a buoy-type wave energy converter that powers an underwater turbine by moving vertically with the waves and tides. The hull of the boat acts as the float of the buoy and the boat’s mast continues below the water to form the absorber. The turbine unit is anchored to the sea floor with a fixed deadweight, which also houses the pipe and cable infrastructure as it joins into each adjacent unit.

Sixty boats are spaced out within the site area on the far side of the breakwater. Each boat measures 24.5 meters from the base of the hull to the top of the mast and is 15 meters long. It is anticipated that the base of the hull would sit about one meter below the water level, rising and falling with a range of four meters between high and low tide. There is a minimum spacing of 10 meters between each boat to allow for efficient harvesting of fog and to provide an intermittent view of the horizon from the beach and pier.

Wind carries fog particles through the material, trapping droplets of water. Gravity then causes these droplets to fall to the base of the sails before flowing into the pipe infrastructure. Resources produced would first supply the pier and waterfront businesses.

As the sun goes down over Santa Monica Bay, the fleet of sailboats comes to life with solar-powered lights that have been charging throughout the day. The programmable LED lights can either be a static glow or cycle through color combinations, allowing for infinite creative possibilities that could tie in with the promotion of special events and holidays.

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Cnidaria Halitus a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: John Eric Chung, Pablo La Roche, Danxi Zou, Jingyan Zhang, Tianyi Deng (CallisonRTKL)
Artist Location: Los Angeles, USA
Energy Technologies: tidal turbines (100% of energy used to pump water for distillation)
Water Harvesting Technologies: solar distillation with Fresnel lens
Annual Capacity: 220 million liters of drinking water

Expressing the mystery and beauty of ocean life, Cnidaria Halitus harnesses the natural forces of the sun and the tides to produce 600,000 liters of potable water each day for the City of Santa Monica. California’s buildings are on their way to becoming net zero energy, yet there is much to be done to achieve the same level of water conservation and generation that we have achieved with energy.

Cnidaria Halitus begins its water generation process by collecting and filtering water from the ocean through a centralized system of pipes that take it to the interior of each of the boilers located at the focal point of a Fresnel lens. To maximize heat collection, the axis of the Fresnel lenses and the collectors consistently track the sun in its daily and monthly trajectory across the sky.

The sun’s heat is concentrated onto the boilers, which evaporate the seawater.

The vapor condenses inside the external membrane, an ultra-lightweight transparent fabric that expands with the water vapor, further increasing the surface collection area and allowing maximum solar radiation on the boiler. The expansion and contraction of the external membrane will give the artwork a life-like expression.

The breakwater is used to channel the currents and to concentrate them in slits, where the turbines are located, harnessing the flowing kinetic energy of the tides to generate electricity. This electricity is used to pump the water up to the boilers and to continue the evaporation process during the night.

Cnidaria Halitus provides a visible solution to the problem of water scarcity, creating awareness while providing carbon free potable water from the ocean to the city.

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Noctilucales
Submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Team: Ricardo Avella, Andrés Tabora, Michael Henriksen, Carla Betancourt, Silvia Mercader, Laura Vera, Oriana De Lucia, Martin Von Bülow, Laura Vivas, Miguel Rosas (representing: Tabora + Tabora Landscape Architecture, ATA avella taller de arquitectura, WavePiston)
Artist Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Energy Technologies: wave energy converter (by WavePistonTM)
Water Harvesting Technology: reverse osmosis desalination
Annual Capacity: 4,200 MWh, less the energy used for desalination (up to 14 million liters per year)

Open spaces are essential for an urban environment to reach balance. They are a form of escape—a place to get away from the chaos of the city.

Noctilucales preserves the horizon line of the ocean—the clean and uninterrupted view, where the sea stretches out before you until it meets the sky. To compromise the horizon is to destroy the landscape.

WavePistonTM has developed one of the less visually obtrusive wave energy technologies consisting of a network of moving plates installed along cables. The movement of the plates creates hydraulic pressure, which is converted into electricity. All of the components are submerged in the ocean, making the system invisible from shore. Only the small anchored buoys on either side of each WavePistonTM string can be seen on the horizon.

Noctilucales has two main elements—the submerged wave power farm with 200 energy collectors, and an extension of the Santa Monica Pier, increasing the surface of public space and providing a secure area for the turbine/generator and desalination plant.

Underwater LED lights on top of each moving plate will cast a subtle glow at night. The energy collectors will be seen as a field of lights, producing a bioluminescent effect similar to the one created by natural Noctilucales in some parts of the world.

The hydraulic pipe runs along the breakwater to a turbine station on the new pier extension. The generator is made visible, with a glass wall built on one side to show the jets as they hit the turbine. In this way, people will follow the conversion process inside one of six green cylindrical structures. The system will supply electricity for the pier and the bioluminescent installation. The surplus electricity feeds into the city grid.

Some of the wave energy is used to produce fresh water with reverse osmosis desalination. With the kinetic energy of the waves, the cost of desalination can be greatly reduced. Instead of using pumps and motors, the ocean waves are able to naturally create the necessary pressures with the movement of the plates.

The desalination plant is transparent to demonstrate the process to visitors, and drinking water fountains along the new pier provide a first taste of the fresh water produced.

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Wake Up

Wake Up
Submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Henry Moll, Mary Carroll-Coelho
Artist Location: Philadelphia, USA
Energy Technologies: Wave Energy Converter (similar to “Salter’s Duck” invented in the 1970s by Steven Salter)
Annual Capacity: 1,400 MWh

The Santa Monica Pier—once a means of transporting waste out to the sea and now a place for social enjoyment—has a history of turning trash into treasure. Wake Up brings this tradition into the era of sustainability by transforming retired swan boats into contemporary energy generating pieces of water art.

The technology behind Wake Up utilizes the most abundant and local force at the pier, the wake of the ocean. Wave energy converters are devices that use the natural motion of wave movements to generate usable power. One such system was developed in the 1970s by Professor Stephen Salter at the University of Edinburgh and dubbed “Salter’s Duck.” The “ducks” consist of a series of wedge-shaped devices located at the ocean’s surface with a central axis throughout, housing the mechanics to generate power. As a wave encounters the underside of the wedges, the force pushes the wedges upwards, causing rotation at the central axis. This rotation creates electrical power through hydraulic generators.

Wake Up reuses retired swan boats to function as Salter’s Ducks, generating offshore energy and helping to power the pier’s amusement park. The swan boat’s body is modified, creating the necessary wedge shape, and a central axis links multiple boats together in staggered rows.

The system is dubbed the “Salt Swan” in reference to Mr. Salter and the atypical presence of swans in salt water. The “Salt Swans” are deployed just beyond the existing breakwater line to capture the most wave energy. When waves hit the swans, they emit a celebratory honking sound as a spectacle for the public to enjoy, and as a reminder of how the system works.

The “Salt Swans” are linked to the shore by a series of lit buoys that display the level of charge, much like a gas gauge in a car. As the onshore battery fills up, the buoys begin to light up in a suspenseful sequence. At full capacity, a dedicated, swan-inspired high striker on the pier rings its bell. Moments later, a light show ripples through the amusement park in celebration.

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Sun Towers

Sun Towers
Submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: BLDA Architects (John Perry, Matteo Melioli, Ramone Dixon, Terie Harrison, Kristina Butkute), XCO2 Consultants (Tom Kordel, Sherleen Pang, Kostas Mastronikolaou), Steven Scott Studio (Steven Scott)
Artist Location: London, UK
Energy Technologies: Photovoltaic Panels, Point Absorber Buoy Wave Energy Converter, Tidal Turbine
Water Harvesting Technologies: Solar Distillation, Reverse Osmosis Desalination
Annual Capacity: 4,000 MWh and 110 million liters of drinking water

The year 2016 marks a special occasion for Santa Monica. It is the 100-year birthday of the Looff Hippodrome, the gloriously eclectic carousel building that is one of the few features of Charles Looff’s Pleasure Pier that remains to delight visitors today. It seems appropriate to propose a new landmark to celebrate this centennial interval in Santa Monica’s history.

Towers of Sun is a new type of desalination plant where low-tech solar distillation is prioritized and supplemented by renewably driven reverse osmosis. Power plant and people assimilate in an uplifting visual experience, where vertical, active, and intelligent systems constantly assess and recalibrate the local dynamic environment.

The design responds directly to the eccentricity of the site and the city. By day, opaque, elegant solar antennae float on a current of energy, strategically positioned to directly respond to the local micro-climatic conditions. By night a tantalizing glimpse of striking form and color is revealed!

An extension of the promenade optimizes views to an extended sea space facing southwest, then navigates the visitor back along the loop to exciting views of the mountains and City of Santa Monica. The panoramic terrace, located at the heart of the plant, will support a dynamic public learning center, inspired by the interpretive elements at the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF). Visitors can stroll along a unique panorama, up close to the elegant sun towers, where the drama, suspense, and beauty of solar desalination are performed.



Each solar tower is a steel and glass structure that contains a vertical stack of water vessels. Solar energy heats and evaporates the seawater from the vessels, which then condensates and falls to the base of the tower.

Photovoltaic cells are grouped upon vertical masts as a screen, which rotates to follow the sun path. Energy surplus generated by the photovoltaic panels is used to power a micro desalination plant, situated at the bottom of the tower.

At the base of each tower is a buoy on the water’s surface that rises and falls with the waves. The action drives a pump system that compresses the seawater until it reaches the solar water vessels. Tidal turbines are invisible below the water’s surface to provide supplemental electricity.

This multi-dimensional installation celebrates the power of light and the energy of the ocean in all their myriad variations.

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The Pipe

The Pipe
Submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Abdolaziz Khalili, Puya Kalili, Laleh Javaheri, Iman Khalili, Kathy Kiany (Khalili Engineers)
Artist Location: Vancouver, Canada
Energy Technologies: Photovoltaic Panels
Water Harvesting Technologies: Electromagnetic Desalination
Annual Capacity: 10,000 MWh to generate 4.5 billion liters of drinking water

From the beach, a gleaming pipe floats in the horizon. It’s a testament to our time and reminds us about our dependence on water and about our need to appreciate and value this vital gift. It also teaches us that water is plenty and nature provides. We just need to learn to work with it, keep it clean, and appreciate it.

Multiple pools of hot and cold, crystal-clear saltwater invite visitors to experience a ritual that takes them away from the stress of daily life. Relaxing on the pool deck, listening to the sound of the waves, and looking out to the ocean, visitors can be blissfully unaware of the seamless technology at work all around them.

Above, solar panels provide power to pump seawater through an electromagnetic filtration process below the pool deck, quietly providing the salt bath with its healing water and the city with clean drinking water. The Pipe represents a change in the future of water.

Water never leaves our planet. Rather it is simply displaced. Fresh water finds impurities and becomes temporarily unfit for consumption. These impurities can be visible or invisible. The visible particles can be filtered with basic procedures. It is the invisible impurities (dissolved solids) that make filtration complicated and costly.

Conventional desalination technology such as reverse osmosis uses excessive electricity, generates unwanted industrial waste and polluted water, and requires very expensive machinery.

Ninety-seven percent of seawater is pure water and only three percent is dissolved solids. All dissolved solids in water become ionized and can therefore be controlled through electromagnetic energy. Electromagnetic filtration uses an isolated electromagnetic field on pipes circulating seawater, separating the salts and impurities. The process is rapid and energy efficient.

What results are two products: pure drinkable water that is directed into the city’s primary water piping grid, and clear water with twelve percent salinity. The drinking water is piped to shore, while the salt water supplies the thermal baths before it is redirected back to the ocean through a smart release system, mitigating most of the usual problems associated with returning brine water to the sea.

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Esther

Esther, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Peter Coombe, Jennifer Sage, Eunkyoung Kim, Charlene Chai, Kaitlin Faherty (Sage and Coombe Architects)
Artist Location: New York City, USA
Energy Technologies: point absorber buoy wave energy converter (CETO™ system developed by Carnegie Wave Energy), piezoelectric stacked actuators, Fresnel-assisted convection turbine
Annual Capacity: 2,800 MWh

Esther captures the ephemerality of motion through water and air, harnessing these elements to generate purified water and clean energy. The design is conceived as two parts, an underwater point absorber buoy that harvests wave energy, and a piezoelectric torque generator “mast” that collects wind energy as it sways above water.

This two-part design takes inspiration from synchronized swimming, as epitomized by the classic aqua-musicals of Esther Williams from the golden years of Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. Like the swimmers in an aquatic ballet, Esther elegantly moves in unison above and below water, creating a spectacle of the periodic movements of the tides and the forces of the wind. This dynamic movement is accentuated by the reflective fiberglass material, which creates a play of shadows across the surface of the water. At the same time, the water is mirrored on the masts, reflecting a fragment of the sea into the horizon. The form of the masts is derived from the abstraction of a synchronized swimmer’s leg and aerodynamic sailing spars.

The eccentric spacing created by the elliptical formation allows viewers from the Santa Monica Pier to understand the installation as an object rather than a non-directional field, much as the bodies of synchronized swimmers collectively form an elaborate pattern. The top of the masts light up at night allowing observers to enjoy the installation at all times of the day and in all weather conditions. The light is amplified by a Fresnel lens, which sits on top of the masts and powers a small solar updraft tower during the day.

A point absorber power buoy is just below the surface of each mast generating 100 kWh of electricity every day by harnessing the ever-present wave energy within the ocean.

The masts employ technology developed for the Windulum, a piezoelectric wind turbine that transforms wind into electricity without generators while eliminating any potential hazards to birds posed by traditional wind turbines.

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Aurora

Aurora a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Daniel Martin de los Rios and Fran Vilar Navarro (Pistach Office)
Artist Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Energy Technologies: tidal turbine (similar to Open-Centre Turbine by OpenHydro™), SALt™ (Sustainable Alternative Lighting)
Water Harvesting Technologies: solar distillation (brine waste powers site lighting)
Annual Capacity: 30,000 MWh and 100 million liters of drinking water

Aurora gifts visitors a dreamlike and immersive experience of walking surrounded in a cloud with just the noise of the waves and the wind. The artworks makes palpable the ineffable, reachable the limitless, and measurable the invisible. It is a rich public space where multiple social and cultural activities can take place.

The wooden floor—an extension of the existing pier—represents stability. The cloud—coated with thermochromic paint—represents lightness and transparency. It is set up in elevation so as not to obscure the view from the beach to the horizon. Above the horizon line is a cloud that changes its shape, size, and appearance with the direction of the wind and temperature, causing boundaries to completely blur. The synesthetic impact of the artwork cannot be adequately captured with photography or film. It can only be experienced directly on location. It is formless, massless, dimensionless, and weightless. It speaks to the color of the sky, the reflection of the ocean, and the emotions of the visitors.

Aurora provides clean electricity with a tidal turbine, and drinkable water with solar distillation within the cloud. It is a hybrid system prefabricated in boxes that are set into the existing breakwater. Every element works together in a closed loop. The free flow underwater turbine system harnesses the ocean as a predictable and sustainable power source. The system transfers kinetic energy to electricity while minimizing visual impact. At the point of highest pressure is included an intake pipe to draw water up to the solar distillation process.

Following the distillation, drinking water is channeled for collection, while the brine goes to power lamps that use salt to generate electricity. The prefabricated boxes include the pillars that support the cloud along with the distillation tray and other integrated systems. The cloud works as a container of heat and water. The greenhouse effect creates a microclimate in which water evaporates and then condenses on the inside surface of the cloud skin. The Venturi effect drives the process by which water is conveyed to and from the distillation chamber.

The circle is complete, from the ocean to the sky, from the heaviness of the rock to the lightness of the air. The system is integrated as a modular, simple, and self-sufficient structure in which aesthetics, concept, energy production, and social aspects come together.

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The Clear Orb, a submission to the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica

Artist Team: Jaesik Lim, Ahyoung Lee, Jaeyeol Kim, Taegu Lim (Heerim Architects & Planners)
Artist Location: Seoul, South Korea
Energy Technologies: transparent luminescent solar concentrators, oscillating water column (OWC) wave energy converter
Water Harvesting Technologies: solar distillation
Annual Capacity: 3,820 MWh and 2.2 million liters of drinking water

Walking on the Santa Monica beach, The Clear Orb appears to float upon the surface of the ocean water. The colors of the sky are refracted through the translucent glass upper section, while the lower hemisphere’s reflective, mirror-like surface glitters with the sunlight playing on the ocean waves.

The installation is accessible from the Santa Monica Pier by the beach boardwalk. Walking towards it, visitors gradually recognize that the pathway slopes gently below the surface of the water. The walk is an escape from our ordinary routine and the crowed city. The outside walls of this “contemplation walk” are themselves a wave power generator installed along the existing breakwater. The inside walls along the pathway are filled with the list of extinct animals, offering an opportunity to contemplate how humans might better co-exist with nature.

At the end of the pathway, visitors reach an open square just in front of the Orb. The square located below the ocean surface creates the feeling of visual pleasure and sharp contrast of light.

The Clear Orb is a glass sphere approximately 40 meters in diameter. The surface is made up of transparent luminescent solar concentrators. These solar cells supply the power to circulate water into the Orb.

The inner space of the Orb is a solar still that produces fresh water from seawater through evaporation and condensation. Desalinated water produced within the Orb pours down through the step fountain supporting it from beneath—an artful interpretation of the power of light and water to give life.

The oscillating water column wave power plant runs along the 300-meter sea-facing edge of the “contemplation walk,” and provides additional energy to the solar distillation pumps and the electrical grid of the city.


Diagram of the Oscillating Water Column. For more information, see this page.

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Town Square

Are you interested in participating in the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative competition and you are looking for the right people to team up with? LAGI Town Square is the place where you can connect. It is a complete social networking engine (built on the elgg platform) that will allow anyone to set up a profile and look around for people who they think would complement their skill set.

For example, an artist can go to the Town Square to meet an engineer, architect, landscape architect, or scientist to help them fully realize their ideas. Conversely, someone of a more technical background can find an artist in the Town Square who has an interesting conceptual idea for which they’d like to provide nuts & bolts details support. Or perhaps you are an environmental activist, or a writer, or anyone with an idea that you’d like to see through.

This site has all of the tools that anyone will need in order to create the perfect collaborative team around their idea. That is its primary purpose. But we also hope that it will serve to connect people of like-minded interests outside of the context of LAGI design teams—to discuss ideas about renewable energy, art and design.

The Town Square site is complementary to the LAGI design competition itself and not an integrated part of the 2012 registration process. You are not required to create a Town Square profile to enter the 2012 competition. 2012 registration will open in January and will be completely separate from Town Square. However, if you create a profile on Town Square, we will migrate that information over to the 2012 design competition site. That way you will already be registered when the design brief goes live in January and you’ll be able to access the design brief and downloads area with your Town Square login information.

Town Square

When you sign up on Town Square, you will be able to provide information about your discipline(s) and team status. This way people will be able to browse other users on the site by discipline and find people with whom they are interested in partnering. For a while we will be building the network, populating it with new profiles. So please take five minutes to create yours now. It’s really easy (you can even one-click login via facebook if you like). Then in a few months, with a critical mass of members, you’ll be able to check back in and find your perfect team!

We encourage you to create a thorough profile and make use of the tools on the site. In this way, others will be able to learn more about you. If they think that you have something to offer their team, they can send you a message directly and privately through the Town Square site.

We’ve created the Town Square networking platform in response to a number of requests for something like this. Because we all don’t have the time to get to know people from across disciplines in our daily lives, Town Square will help to get scientists working with architects, working with electrical engineers, and landscape architects, and artists, and social activists, and writers…all working together to innovate the ways in which we think about design and public infrastructure of the sustainable city.

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Sun and Water

David Tyl
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
The following project is an essay on culture, combined with thoughts on progress and sustainability. It is meant both to interpret the landscape by connecting physical structure with natural environment, and to convey new ideas of sustainability and wonderment with regard to our current conception of energy generating devices. Primarily, it is meant as a sculptural device existing in the landscape, bridging the natural with the synthetic, the physical with the surreal, and expressing ideas of evolution, continuity, and the infinite cycle. It is also meant to stimulate thoughts on science, religion, and culture to all those who experience it.

The form of the structure is an investigation into interior spaces and privacy, leading to questions about the public realm and enlightenment. In skewing the boundaries between inside and outside spaces, the structure attempts to define what is meant to conceal, and what is meant to uncover. It brings about the notion of importance, and asks what becomes relevant to the argument; does one look to the outside from within, or vice versa? Where is the exterior, and to what are we to put focus on? Are we to attend to the natural landscape of the environment, or the speed and evolution of human progress? Where is the boundary?

In generating power, the structure makes use of two of the earths most abundant and renewable resources: water and sun. By using the two in a balanced manner, the idea is to create energy without the necessity for additional support in terms of non-renewable resources. By superheating the water that is local to the site (Site #2), by means of solar energy, there may exist enough energy and velocity to power turbines that will in turn generate useable power to the community. Solar power is thus used in two ways, that is, by way of directly heating the water that circulates through each ‘cube’ of the structure to create steam, and by way of photovoltaic panels that are attached to the grid portion of the structure – energy that is used primarily to assist in superheating the water to create steam. The result is clean useable energy that is created from merely water and sun.

Experiencing the structure is done in numerous ways; from a distance, within, and directly underneath. One may first come into contact with it visually from the sky (in an airplane), and again along the highway (in an automobile), and again within it walking among the ‘cubes’, and finally underneath it walking beneath the light emissive spiraled plane. The structure creates a visual impact both during the day and at night when it is lit. Low-energy electroluminescent lighting enables the structure to attract attention far and wide, creating a distinct image for the community that depicts sustainability, safety, power, and change. There is thus no time of day that the structure may not be experienced.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Javier Sánchez Merina, Héctor García Pastor, Paco Ruiz Vicente, Halldóra Arnardóttir, Carlos Bausá Martínez
Designed for Site #3 in Abu Dhabi, on Airport Road near Masdar City.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
For the past decades, huge man-made landscapes have become characterized by a static image of commodity that can only be recognized from a satellite view, like the popular Google Earth or the NASA World Wind.

Our proposal addresses the notion of landscape as communication of human activities. It is a project that instigates a dynamic look: A person participating in the landscape should be prepared to interact with it.

Hence we suggest a change in the observer’s standing point, a change to recognize a new indicator of time and scale in relation to the site and the earth in a worldwide context.

On the SITE 3, situated between the Airport Road Near the Masdar City Site, “Landscape as communication of human activities,” proposes this dynamic change to take place through human interests: art installations and music festivals, games and sport competitions, writing messages to loved ones, conferences… activities, which thanks to new technology, can be enjoyed on a global scale.

The project is the confluence of Communication, Space and Biomimetism.

COMMUNICATION
“Landscape as communication of human activity” lets free the imagination. We make use of sensors of movement, light and sound to connect to the outer world throughout a multi-pixel colour screen that can show an art installation, a spatial play of interaction, creative writing of non-lineal narrative…

This communication can be appreciated around the world and people are invited to interact with its message. Although an activity occupied only by 1m2, it would achive a global scale and multiply its audience. However, the change of scale is not only metric but also within its content and ways of transmission: the exciting final of the UAE Open, Federer vs Nadal, played with the CTRUS C1 ball technology, can be followed simultaneously at the place and on satellite as a tennis strategy board; the lecture STRANDBEEST at TED will be a walk accompanying Theo Jansen’s works while the landscape becomes a text; a concert would transform the site into a festival of colours.
New geographic information programmes will evolve and show life on-line, not merely static images of past events. The aim is to have people experience things together, regardless of their location.

SPACE
Arab architecture has been a continuous lesson of modernity, yet now forgotten by many: The space in the Mosque of Córdoba is defined by columns, organised in an abstract mesh that dissolves the concept of axial and limited space. The resulting vistas of columns and arcades create a mysterious space.

Echoing this “stone forest”, our inner space is created by 34 structures of Carbon Fibre Composites. An interior landscape of 40m tall columns generates a network relationship and different activities that together give a sense of unity. Organized in staggered formation (80x140m), there is enough space between them to arrange a football pitch. Thus, the landscape can offer several events at the same time.

The roof is made of more than 31.000 Sunlight Concentrators. Each concentrator consists of a parabolic dish, 2,5m diameter joined to another following a “Mocarab” pattern. Under this roof, the inner space makes up a landscape of 170.000m2, having the qualities of being fresh, protect from the sun, and with reduced humidity: An ideal surface full of possibilities.

The structures’ elevation follows fractal geometry, from the trunk to the concentrators, which enables a maximum coverage to be achieved through the economy of the material and its repetitive construction. Each structure includes:

• Touch Screens attached to the sides of the trunks, ground level. From the interior, the audience will see the effects of their actions reflected on the inferior side of the roof.

• Lavatories and storage areas are inside the trunks (rhombus 6,80×6,80m), ground level. A storage water tank is located inside each trunk.

• Water Atomizers are installed inside the trucks to reduce the temperature by 10ºC.

• Sensors of movement, light and sound in the “branches” of the structure send the message of change, according to the human activity taking place.

• The branches incorporate draining system that collects condensed water in the roof to be recycled in the building.

• The Sunlight Concentrators that build up the multi-pixel landscape of rapidly changing colours can be used as educational facility, drawing people together around the world to learn about the new technology.

BIOMIMETISM
This project is a step into learning from natural mechanisms: the Baobab Tree. The way it recollects water and storages it, its photosynthesis, radiation of heat, distribution of liquids, allowing the wind to pass without frictions, provoking breeze…
Our collaboration with a specialist in Ecological Technology has carried out a research on design with the following achievements:

• Chameleon-like, its surface changes colour: The use of Electrochromic paints permits our Sunlight Concentrators to change colour. Opalux Inc. offers us their electrically activated technology that, based on the diversity of colours offered by the opal stone, utilizes structured photonic crystals to produce devices that can be electrically tuned to reflect any colour in the visible, UV, or IR spectrum.

When a voltage is applied, the active polymer increases or decreases in size, and this dimensional change will shift the frequencies of light that are reflected from the material. In this way the concentrators can reflect any colour in the visible spectrum, depending on the voltage applied, being in any case very low power requirements (<1,5 Volts, microamp currents). • Leave-like, its crown transforms sun light into energy: By concentrating sunlight onto a small area of high-efficiency solar cell material, SolFocus Inc. systems dramatically reduce the amount of expensive and often supply-constrained solar material used in the system. Our collaboration has developed towards providing high-energy output and maximum energy production per area of land. The results of 31.492 Sunlight Concentrators with parabolic shape of 2,5m diameter are enough to provide power to 6.220 homes in the UAE. The energy consumption in the production of SolFocus CPV systems is the lowest of all solar technologies, reaching only 22gCO2eq/kWh. In terms of Water Consumption, SolFocus CPV systems do not consume water in the electricity generation process because they are passively cooled; water is only used for panel cleaning, a water that will proceed from condensation. • Cactus-like, its appendixes provoke condensation: Due to the high relative humidity, the dew point is close to the current air temperature. At night, the parabolic dishes will act as cold spines that collect the condensation water in both of their sides. Although the rainfall in Abu Dhabi is very small, it is important also to collect and store the water of the few rainy days along the year. • Flat Bones-like, its skin gets reinforced. Composite provides “green” alternative to traditional building materials. The total life cycle assessment of composite material can place it above traditional products, under green building initiatives in Energy and Environmental Design. When the amount of energy consumed to produce, install and maintain a composite structure is taken into consideration, it uses far less than other traditional materials. The lightweight composite as a building material contributes to overall savings due to lower transportation costs, faster construction, less dead weight requiring smaller and lighter building structural requirements, and lighter lifting equipment. It is also resistant to rust, rot and corrosion. By doubling the useful lifespan compared to other products, composite’s durability reduces the need for replacement, repair or repainting; it is a low conductor of heat, fire-retardant, virtually maintenance free, and the strongest material available per unit of weight. Our collaboration with Carbon Fiber Manufacturing is in the line of working with BioResins, using soybean and corn feedstocks to replace the oil and natural gas derivatives. Much work of this project will be accomplished by moving towards natural materials and the use of recycled thermoplastics as a reinforcement. low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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The Luna Sea

Yintsu LU
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
People try hard to find the way to live on this poor land. The effort to discover the resources for living is appreciated. To find the way to survive is the instinct of creature. Then the project I named “the luna sea” to remind people to pioneer the new and proper way to live for the new age.

The landscape is like the crater on the moon and the scar left on the earth surface after people over developed. How to transform the actions from injuring to protecting the environment is the concept of this project. It is the new medium people interact with the nature to find the resource to live.

The resources in the desert most deficient is fresh water. Now the fresh water underground will be dry out in few years if there’s no way to find the new source.
This landscape is the medium to create the most valuable resource as the fresh water for living in this poor land by natural process as vaporization and steam collection.

The round metal roof are the plate shape to collect the sun heat at daytime. The heat will vaporize the sea water flow into the pools during the ocean high tides through the sea water flume into steam. At night time, the round roof become the cooler to congeal the steam at the bottom side of the roof to fresh water. The curve shape will collect the water to the fresh water temple as the showroom and the recreation room to have activities as the oasis in the desert.

The landscape like the scar left on the earth when we see that from sky. To remind people how harmful we have done with earth. But the landscape is actually our future when we stand by it and enjoy the results like fresh water. It’s the temple to remind people our future lies in our own hands.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Austin-Smith: Lord
Mark Sciberras, Andreja Beric, India Aspin, and Jack Pannell
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF ELECTRICITY?
We view the production of electricity for the UAE in relation to its consumption; any amount a Land Art installation could produce would simply be a drop in the ocean.

The ambition of this Land Art Generator initiative is laudable. While the technology we employ could be used to create electricity (and does so for lighting) we would like, with the competition jury’s permission, to shift the focus.

IS ELECTRICITY THE PROBLEM?
As technology and global thinking shift towards renewable energy production, the UAE finds itself fortunate in its abundance of solar energy. Its natural resources ensure that electricity production will never be a problem.

IF NOT……THEN WHAT IS?
The UAE is burdened by a lack of one resource that is essential to its future growth: fresh water. The UAE currently uses a huge proportion of its electricity consumption (approx. 25%) on the energy intensive process of seawater desalination.

INCREASE PRODUCTION OR REDUCE CONSUMPTION?
With the largest population growth rate in the world and the highest rate of water consumption in the world the UAE’s dependence on desalinated seawater is total. The solution of increasing the production of water and energy indefinitely to meet demand is unsustainable. There must be an alternative solution.

THE LAND ART [RESOURCE] GENERATOR
We aim to inspire a society to question the processes that support their lifestyle. Our proposal is a physical representation of a natural cycle that harnesses solar energy to generate fresh water. By providing low energy alternatives to industrial desalination we can still generate an excess of electricity for the grid.

THE سراب IN THE DESERT
We aim to create an experience at three scales:
From the distant surroundings our installation is a sparkling mirage on the horizon, a vaporous form that shimmers by day and de-materialises by night.

Closer up, at a captured moment between two urbanised landscapes, where desert and city dweller meet, this becomes an encounter with a cloud. Its language is of a process that connects the sea, sky and ground and produces buoyant water droplets that contrast with the continuous skyline.

Within it is not the vision but the atmosphere, the sensation of when water touches the skin, experienced as a rain shower that is triggered each evening by the setting of the sun.

WHY WATER NOT ELECTRICITY
The legend of Abu Dhabi reminds us everyday of the reliance on fresh water. Protecting this resource should be at the heart of its culture, so we have chosen to remark on its preciousness. Through our resource generator, we can demonstrate the harvesting of sea water to produce thousands of litres of desalinated fresh water for irrigation purposes. So why water not electricity? Through this manifestation of the hydrological cycle, we can offer low technology, low energy alternatives to industrial desalination processes. These therefore counter balances the amount of electricity needed to produce desalinate water through energy intensive means. We don’t produce electricity, we simply save it!

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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Lisa Moffitt
Designed for Site #2 in Abu Dhabi, between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island.


Design Submission for the 2010 Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

Artist’s descriptive text:
Clouds, Lattices & Plumes capitalizes on the abundance of two natural resources available on the desert coastal site: sunlight and saltwater. The primary strategy for limiting the environmental footprint of the project is to treat these clean site resources (sun, clouds, water) as the dominant building materials of the project.

All elements on site follow radial geometries that overlap and converge, creating central nodes and perimeter moirés. A series of heliotropic, sun tracking mirrors, organized in radial arrays, focus light on solar power towers, generating roughly 10 megawatts of electricity for the local grid. The heliotropic mirrors, sun and cloud tracers, mechanically follow the trajectory of the sun, and are visible aerially from viewing platforms at site nodes.

A series of pools occur where the radial geometries overlap. Small-scale desalination pavilions at these pools generate clean water and highly saline water. Clean water is pumped to wading pools for recreational use on site. Saline water is pumped to salt ponds, where halophytic organisms thrive, creating shifting plume paintings in the landscape. Salt crystals collect and grow on sculptural towers set in the saline ponds.

Clean electricity is produced through Concentrating Solar Power Towers, which use heliostatic (sun-tracking) mirrors to focus light onto a thermal receiver placed on a power tower. This focused heat boils water and produces steam, which powers a standard turbine and generator in order to produce electricity that is fed into the local grid.

Four radial arrays of heliostat mirrors focus light on solar power towers. Each array consists of roughly 1500 3 meter diameter heliostats, totally 10,600 m2 of mirrored surface. These tracking mirrors focus light onto their respective 200 foot tall towers (wind tower components can be repurposed for this use), producing roughly 2.5 megawatts of electricity per solar array; approximate 10 megawatts of electricity is produced on site. The towers double as gnomens in a giant sundial, casting shifting shadows across the site. At the base of each tower, turbines and generators are housed in a lightweight production shed.

Plumes: Salt Ponds, Desalination Hubs & Wading Pools – Salt water is in abundance in Abu Dhabi; fresh water is not. Typically, desalination is an energy intensive process with high ecological tolls: the highly saline byproduct of production is recirculated at the point source, increasing the salinity of the local water source and negatively impacting the local marine ecology.

Clouds, Lattices and Plumes uses a low-energy, scalable method of water desalination to produce clean water for on-site recreation, while also retaining the saline water on site as striking visual elements in the landscape, rather than discharging it back at point source.

Using the Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) process , seawater is pumped to the desalination pavilion, filtered for large particles, pumped with a high pressure pump through membrane filters, and circulated into holding tanks. Each membrane filter (10cm diameter x 80 cm long) can process 1000 liters of water/day. 1000 liters of processing requires roughly 3.7 kwh of energy, provided through on-site electricity production.

Clean water is pumped into adjacent wading pools. Highly saline discharge is pumped into adjacent salt ponds. The highly saline water collects halophytic organisms that transform the saline water into pools of saturated, shifting plume paintings.

The pavilions are open-air in order to encourage visitor observation.

Lattices : Sculptural Salt Towers – Sodium chloride (NaCl) is in abundance in seawater. Due to it’s high ionic bonding and crystalline structure, salt collects and grows readily. A series of materials were tested for their ability to facilitate / encourage salt growth, and while the crystal structure varied by material, NaCl readily grew on any medium, forming cloud-like aggregations.

Steel structures with wool felt inlays, located in the salt ponds according to the radial geometries of the site, provide infrastructure to encourage salt crystal growth, a spectacle that shifts over time as salt collects and overtakes the salt towers.

low-res version PDF of submitted boards

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