As native New Yorkers we've grown accustomed to living near the sea. For many coastal dwellers it's a similar phenomenon where traveling inland becomes more asphyxiating the farther you get from the ocean. This is due in part to the great debt of life we owe to to that simple combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Water is the basis and foundation for life on this planet, and humanity's connection could not be more intimate due to our own biology. Or.. could it?
This is the question posed by Daniel Valle Architects in their ambitious thematic pavilion proposal for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea. While there is certainly no shortage of underwater constructions and aquariums throughout the world, what makes this proposal unique is the fact that it is not a fixed building, but a nautical structure designed to sway and interact with the tides of its environment. The open and minimal design invites visitors to effectively take a walk on the ocean, or through it.The project aims to raise awareness of the crisis facing our shorelines in the form of global warming and other drastic shifts in the world's most vast and volatile biosphere. The gradual incline of the half-submerged terrain ensure that visitors experience every depth of the transition from land to sea. The space provides a unique perspective into a world that has previously been exposed via photography, rather than direct experience.
The architects spared no conceptual currency in the creation of this dramatic and powerful space, which poses a bold challenge to the sea in the form of a giant perforation in its facade which allows the free flow of the water to collapse past lower levels as an artificial waterfall. Should the project ever be completed, the views would surely be breath-taking.
Aside from it's riveting visual design, the proposed building is state of the art. A hydraulic mechanism gives precise control over the angle of the edifice, which also houses a salt-to-freshwater filter, complete with wind turbines, solar panels and a highly efficient cooling system which uses veins of seawater to distribute or displace heat. Clearly it's a design that has been thought through and we'd love to see it become a reality!All images courtesy of Daniel Valle Architects.