BLOXAS + Chian Quah’s entry, A Place to Catch (SEA) Breeze, for the 2011 Brisbane Ideas Competition has made it to the stage of finalist and has been shared for your review. Additional images and a description after the break.
This proposal has considered the climactic condition and placement of Brisbane, within it’s geographical context. Brisbane city is located approximately 21kms inland from the nearest coastal edge. Subsequently it is starved of any significant retrievable, or recurrent, sea breeze. This, coupled with Brisbane’s unforgiving sub tropical summer humidity, was the idealistic catalyst for this design concept. Slender, sculptured towers range in height depending on their topographical location.
An amalgamation of their atmospheric height, form, and diverse material applications and techniques, allow the ‘installations’ to collect dew, moisture, and condensation from the atmosphere on their varied planes throughout the winter months. Surface treatments include mesh, corrugated and dimpled metals, timber/moss, the density of concrete, and ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene).
Contrasting materials produce or create moisture, which is then collected internally and retained in intermediate guttering systems. In summer, the pooled water runs through a conduit of intricate vertical pipework, and is dispersed through hundreds of heads, akin to miniature sprinklers. A fine mist subsequently drifts across selected parts of the city, south bank, the urban fringe and suburbs.
This mist doubles as a screening device to ‘stealth’ or conceal the source during the summer months, assimilating them with the sky, rather than the colors of the landscape. In winter these towers, reveal their sensitivity to the landscape, in a binary fashion. Winter for these installations is a period of moisture collection, but the visibility of colorations of green moss on sections of timber, fusing with dimpled metals, reflecting and mirroring the landscape, proffers a profound dual intention for the towers. Concrete absorbing the suns rays, dimpled metals undulating, as well as the mesh shimmering with beads of collected water. These act as beacons of the ephemeral nature of seasons, and create vertical extensions of the landscape within which they are situated.
During summer these finely detailed sculptures emerge in a completely different manner. They are, to a degree, secreted from view, and merge with the sky rather than the landscape. Summer beckons the diffusion, when the amassed moisture is fed through a sprinkler head forming a fine, cooling mist which travels with the inland zephyrs, draping parts of Brisbane city, it’s urban fringe and suburbs.