Thematic Ocean Pavilion for EXPO 2012
BIO(da)TA is a living building system, on the water, interacting with and adapting to its environment. The project is located adjacent to the breakwater, a neighboring zone of the Expo masterplan, with structural piles just outside the sloping riprap wall. Trussed walk segments span from both fixed and floating concrete nodes and some have the ability to reposition vertically or horizontally. ‘Water boxes’, with more defined and enclosed interior exhibit space, allow the walks to continue uninterrupted. Thus, the ‘pavilion’ is conceived not as an object, but as the whole system, thereby amplifying the visiblity and experience. The ability for the walkway segments to move with the tides is significant. Although the project brief calls for an ‘iconic’ building, we have interpreted that requirement as an iconic movement and environmental integration rather than form. We are trying to allow natural forces to shape the building as a constantly evolving, expanding and contracting system.
Much of what we understand of the emerging scientific paradigm is a direct access to research data, with broad-based ability to use the data in creative and innovative ways. We also envision reciprocity of technological engagement, where visitors will have access to certain exhibit and research data before and after the Expo and are encouraged to participate in the environmental monitoring and research process. As a living building system, this project uses building integrated photovoltaics, wind power and an attitude of efficiency in all of its parts. Heating and cooling systems are driven by a hydrothermal loop tied into the submerged portions of the water boxes. Rainwater is collected from a catchment on the roof surface of the BPA waterbox and is stored and filtered in a cistern for the facility. The interior of the space is designed for future use flexibility as a laboratory station with assembly and ongoing exhibit capability. It is tailored for life beyond 2012 as a legacy venue for immersive oceanographic scientific research, as well as for symposia, recreation, and pilot studies in maritime economic development.