You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.
That every modern building on the face of this earth seeks to be a sustainable entity is an oft-repeated and well-established fact. Interestingly, this trend is now finding its way even through buildings built on water. And as if in testimony, a gigantic arch-shaped hotel named “The Ark” has been built on sea water by the Russian architectural firm Remistudio, in collaboration with the International Union of Architects’ programme titled “Architecture for Disaster Relief.”
The core concept behind the architecture of this unique building is safety and protection from extreme environmental conditions and climate change.
Sprawled over a total site area of 4500 m2, this building can withstand extreme floods caused by rising sea levels, and floats autonomously on the surface of the water owing to its arch-shaped structure. The Ark is also designed to be a bioclimatic house with independent life-support systems, including elements that ensure a closed-functioning cycle.
Make-up of The Ark
Timber arches and steel ropes used in construction provide structural solidity to the building. The framework is covered by a special foil made of Ethyl TetraFluoroEthylene (ETFE) – a strong, highly transparent foil, self-cleaning, recyclable, highly durable, economical, and lighter than glass. The foil itself is fixed to the framework by special metal profiles, which also serve as solar collectors for water heating and as gutters that collect rainwater from the roof surface. A prefabricated frame allows for fast construction.
The cupola in the upper portion collects warm air which is gathered in seasonal heat accumulators to provide uninterrupted energy supply for the whole complex. The heat from the surrounding environment – the outer air, water or ground – is also used. The building can produce extra power for supplying to adjacent houses and for “green” means of transport.
The building makes a single energy system. The form of the cupola assists in creating an air-eddy at the outer surface around the central bearing, where the wind power and tornado generators are placed. The form of the building allows for placement of photoelectric cells at an appropriate angle to the Sun.
The base of the building is shell-like in structure, devoid of ledges or angles, rendering it very suitable for climatically and seismically sensitive regions. A load-bearing system of arches and cables allows weight redistribution along the entire corpus in case of an earthquake.
- Lush vegetation helps provide good quality of air and a source of food.
- All plants are chosen as per the principles of compatibility, illumination and efficiency of oxygen production
- A transparent roof allows for penetration of sufficient light for the plants in ther interiors.
- The design uses solar panels and a rainwater collection system to provide occupants with power and water.
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands is a popular standout point for business and entertainment in Asia, that adds to its credibility by providing space for 2,560 hotel rooms, rooftop Sands SkyPark, convention and exhibition facilities, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants, a casino, a Paiza Club for premium players, an outdoor event plaza and so on. What’s more, the new Eco-friendly development in this area – the ArtScience Museum – has tripled its attractiveness.
This ArtScience Museum, the first of its kind the world over, was inaugurated at Marina Bay Sands on February 17th, 2011. The shape of this ArtScience Museum is that of a bloomed lotus flower or a single palm with 10 fingers. This contemporarily designed Museum aims to become the heart of the growing art & science movement as well as the premier venue for international exhibits.
The Museum will display innovative and modern works in art and science on three floors of gallery space across over 4,800 square meters. There are 21 galleries in all. This project will attract not just tourists but also encourage cutting-edge practices as part of a new economy.
Museum – The Palm & its Energy-efficiency
Because of its palm-like appearance, the Museum is fondly known as “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore”. There are ten fingers on this palm, attached to a unique round base in the middle. The tallest “finger” stands 60 meters above ground. Each one of the ten fingers that extend out in the palm-like museum has a generous skylight that illuminates the interior walls with ample daylight.
Air conditioning grills built into the floor help save energy by cooling only the air up to the visitor’s height, rather than the entire space. Called air stratification, the technique is gaining popularity with engineering firms.
The ArtScience Museum incorporates several interesting features to make use of natural resources as efficiently as possible. The museum’s dish-like roof channels rainwater through the central atrium of the building, creating a 35-meter water drop into a 4,000 sq.m lily pond at the lowest level of the building. Rainwater is recycled and redirected through the water feature to create a continuous cylindrical waterfall. The rainwater is also recycled for use in the museum’s bathrooms as part of Singapore’s Green Mark program.
At night, the same dish transforms into an amphitheatre, enthralling audiences with awe-striking light and laser shows and fireworks with the city in the background.
Material such as Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), typically used in high-performance racing yachts – which has never been used in a project in Singapore – has been used for the construction of this architectural wonder.