This a proposal for an adaptable floating gallery in the river Thames.
Our project talk about the climate change and polar bears of the North Pole:
Scientists think that ice will probably disappear from the North Pole for the first time by this summer 2008 due to the global warming. We would like to express our solidarity with the hungry – and probably angry – polar bears that will soon reach our lands (?) trying to find some dry land and food. What about architecture? The earth and the city – as the bears – need ideas being able to cope with ecological issue and to establish a radically new relation between architecture and nature. This is why we’ve imagined for “London 2008” a breathing and living architectural objet, in order to give a strong iconic value to the gallery that will contain, produce and distribute ideas about the future of the cities. Living beings basically differ from the unanimated ones in their ability to create relations and interact with the environment they’re living in. Like a weird animal generated by the River Thames, our proposal consist of a complex organism formed by different elements (skin, eyes, arms, heart, lungs, etc.) interacting with forces of nature to establish a mature and respectful – LOVing – relationship with environment and nature. The main roof, floating like a jellyfish, is composed by a translucent, elastic and flexible skin. This surface uses a structural system made of semi-rigid fiberglass elements, something like camping tent poles. This allows the roof to lightly move and change his shape depending on the wind solicitations, like a soap bubble when we blow on it: this is how the gallery breathes. On top, a random array of helium solar balloons provides for solar energy supply during the day and become a funny set of lamps at night standing as a signal in the skyline of London. When the gallery moves along the river, solar balloons can be retracted to stay on the jellyfish roof. Exhibition spaces and observation area are imagined like piston boxes, with a platform that lifts using the energy of the river coming from some water turbines. The movement of these iron lungs creates an added vertical promenade for visitors, which experience the sensation of floating on a living architecture.