Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Thessaloniki Water Transport Piers in Thessaloniki, Greece by Giannikis SHOP
February 15th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Giannikis SHOP
Giannikis SHOP / THESSALONIKI WATER TRANSPORT PIERS / HONORARY MENTION IN NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE DESIGN COMPETITION
Floor, Pavilion, Inflated Pneumatic Structure
Four Piers (Eleutheria Square, Megaro, Aretsou, Perea) were designed for the Architecture Competition for the Thessaloniki Water Transport Piers. Each Pier is composed of three elements: the Floor, the Pavilions and the Inflated Pneumatic Structure.
The Floor arranges the flow of users and incorporates pier lighting and sitting. The Floor is made of rough wood planks treated with tar, a technique used in shipbuilding. Sitting is made of stone blocks. Lighting is integrated in the surface of the Floor.
The Pavilions house the public toilets and storage space (A) and the ticket booth and Pier café (B). The Pavilions are steel structures covered in the same rough wood planks as the Floor. The doors and windows of the Pavilions are made out of brass, another material that references to shipbuilding.
The Inflated Pneumatic Structure operates as weather protection and harvests solar energy and water. It is supported by a three column steel structure that holds a triangular ring inside the Inflated Pneumatic Structure. The surface of the Inflated Pneumatic Structure is in constant mechanical support (air supply). The side walls of the Inflated Pneumatic Structure are made of BoPET while the upper and lower walls are made of ETFE . BoPET is a highly reflective synthetic film and ETFE is a transparent synthetic film. Both materials have high tensile strength capabilities.
Functionality, Economy, Innovation
The goals of the proposal for the Thessaloniki Water Transport Piers were functionality, economy and innovation.
The Piers have no interior waiting space. The climate of Thessaloniki is mild and the average waiting time for users on the Pier is short. That allows for Pier operation savings in heating during winter and cooling during summer.
The reflective surface of the Inflated Pneumatic Structure integrates the Pier in any surroundings it is positioned. The three elements that compose each Pier are the same everywhere. That allows for savings in design and fabrication as well as the ability for use of the existing Pier design in any future expansion of the Thessaloniki Water Transport Piers in other locations. In addition, the persistence of the same elements throughout the Water Transport System unifies the whole as a single entity.
The Pier construction has low maintenance requirements. All elements are easy to fix or replace and are resistant to humidity, salt water and vandalism.
The way the Inflated Pneumatic Structure harvests solar energy and water is the following:
Solar radiation enters the Inflated Pneumatic Structure from its upper transparent wall. The reflective side walls of the Inflated Pneumatic Structure guide the solar beams towards the solar cells that are located in the interior of the Structure. The solar cells transform the solar energy to electricity and store it there. The advantage of this innovative solar cell technology compared to conventional solar cell technology made with steel and glass is the ability for large surfaces with minimal weight. This technology is being developed by a multitude of companies such as Cool Earth Solar , Emcore , SunPeak Solar , Ausra as well as ETH University.
Water is harvested from three cone shaped point at the upper wall of the Inflated Pneumatic Structure (the point of connection between the surface of the Inflated Pneumatic Structure and its steel support ring) and directed towards an under Pier storage facility. Electricity and water harvested by the Inflated Pneumatic Structure allows for energy and water self-sufficiency of the Pier.
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