MOVABLE ARCHITECTURE GALLERY THAMES RIVER LONDON
Master Thesis at the IAAC Barcelona, Adaptable-floating platform 2008
Supervisor: Prof. Marta Male Alemany (IaaC), Martin Sobota (Berlage Institute, Rotterdam)
Water movements such as river streams provide a sustainable source of energy in urban contexts with the potential of establishing sustainable interactions in the city. This Thesis investigates in which way the architectural design of a floating aquatic platform („Creature“) can take advantage of the Thames River´s currents to create an interactive movable exhibition space. Experimental testing on how natural organisms move orthogonally to water current has brought some insight into principles of active and passive movements in water. Trapezoid shaped components with flexible joints were identified as the most efficient and flexible geometrical solution for the project´s purpose and the movement transition between the elements. Special designed front elements, which are actively controlled through a fine system of gates and underwater-channels, transfer stream energy from component to component. Closed gates increase the resistance against the water current and hereby drag back part of the structure, thus transforming its shape. Beyond this internal deformation, the structure moves in relation to the river and to its fixation point as a second response. Both, first and second responses of the structure towards the river’s water current bring about an oscillating and natural movement as part of the visitor´s experience to this public space.