The major of the city of Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Giovanni Renzi, with the manifesto of the 15th of September 1903, communicated to his citizens the tender for the construction of the social aqueduct of the Tennacola company. Since then, this work has been in constant evolution and all the structures linked to the aqueduct are still deep-rooted in the territory and they have become symbols of the project by LED Architecture Studio. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The hanging water reservoirs are constructions for water accumulation. They are one of the main works of the aqueduct and they are considered archaeological industrial structures deserving of preservation, conservation and compatible re-use. They are characterized by fronts of considerable dimensions which can be modified to increase their functions. This example, which is also the object of study, has the purpose of experimenting with an innovative practice consisting of technological re-use. This practice defines the basic principles of the conservation and recovery of all the structures belonging to the industrial archaeology through the technological re-operation and the re-integration with the surrounding area.
We ask why we continue to consume agricultural areas and why we want to invade protect areas and deprave their destinations and characteristics which rend them unique from the landscape profile point of view. In the Energetic Services Manager statistics view, the photovoltaic systems built on the ground actually represent about the 44 per cent of the whole photovoltaic power in Italy. According to the GSE provisional estimations of the 31st December 2010, this power is about 2,900 MW. Consequently, today, if we suppose that all the “non-integrated” systems are built on the farmland, the area complexly take away from agricultural production amounts to something like 3,200 hectares (approximately 4,500 football fields). For this reason, it is necessary to ensure that renewable energies systems will be installed exclusively in urban areas in accord with a responsible integration.
Thus, the project proposes re-shaping the hanging water reservoirs located in the city of Sant’Elpidio a Mare in an energetic totem, which is able not only to provide water distribution , but also to produce clean energy. This energy will be produced by the SUN, thanks to 240 square meters of photovoltaic panels, by the WIND through eight micro Aeolian generators and by the hydrogen, generated by eight silos containing thermopile seaweeds plunged into 250,000 liters of water. The production of hydrogen through the bio-electrolysis of seaweeds is one of the most innovative systems of clean energy supply. The process satisfies two fundamental requirements: 1) the direct extraction of hydrogen (H2) from the water (H2O) through the photosynthesis at solar energy expense. 2) the production of pure H2 without any kind of contamination or contact with any dangerous product. Recent experimental data shows that 10 liters of seaweed growing can produce 1-2 liters of pure H2 each day (it is the amount of energy necessary to travel 100 kilometers with a car). Consequently, the system may produce about 25,000 liters of hydrogen per day.
The problem here is to adapt new materials, processes and systems to an architectural structure without losing its original features and without denying to it a new life. So we have to consider that the main characteristics of these constructions are the structural or plant engineering innovations which derive from the nature of living organism. Thanks to the promotion and divulgation of specific knowledge and through the use of up-to-date systems of information and documentation, these unknown places will become focal points for the citizens. The recovery of the structure can ensure the creation of environments which are suitable for different needs such as research activity, formative and educative sessions, museums and other gatherings.
The theme of the re-use in every possible form is of vital importance if we want to limit the damages to our planet, protecting it from the agricultural areas to the inner cities. The proposal of re-use wants to be a pro-positive critic to the wrong use of the ground and consequently a critic to the wrong integration of the systems that supply energy.