Fluid concept for Bali beaches

Alfonso Lopez LEED AP
Tuesday 12 Oct 2010

Marine Research Center proposal takes its formative clues from tsunami structure

A recent international design competition for a Marine Research Centre in Bali Indonesia gave firm solus4 an opportunity to study and architecturally interpret the structure of tsunami waves. The competition, co-sponsored by Arquitectum and Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia, sought to address the need for tsunami research and preparation in response to the devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Concept designs show the 2,500 sq m Marine Research Center located 150 metres off the of shoreline of Kuta beach, Bali. It is an imposing fluid structure that adapts to its natural aquatic environment and allows visitors and scientists alike to have a direct visual connection to the exterior. The programme which consists of research labs, bedrooms for scientist, seawater pool, aquatic garden library and an auditorium would be distributed under and over the surface of the sea.

The solus4 design team sought to understand the wave dynamics and the resulting wave force patterns that are generated as tsunami waves are created and radiate out from an epicentre. The wave forces, when translated to linear patterns, inform the shapes that are integrated into the building form and result in patterns that seem to be borne of the sea. Building forms are then used to respond to the programmatic requirements of the facility for both onboard scientists and the interested visitor. In keeping with the nature of the universal ocean, the project is intended to be wholly energy efficient. Large glass-based panels form the skin - both transparent and opaque as well as embedded PV cells.

The close in to shore location allows for tidal/current generators to serve the power requirements. Rainwater collection and seawater conversion systems take care of the domestic water requirements. Deeper source seawater is circulated through the skin for radiant cooling and temperature control of the overall anthropomorphic shape. The unique shapes and programmatic requirements would serve as an icon for scientific study and tourism in this location.

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