CHRISTOPHER H. LEUNG (M.Arch ’17)
Carparks are often viewed as bleak spaces that are not very appreciated by their users, yet they remain essential to host the abundance of vehicles found today. How can the contemporary carpark stand out as an engaging destination of its own and progress to tackle the environmental challenges of the future?
Automobiles contribute substantially to CO2 emissions in our cities and it is apparent that we require a more sustainable transport solution. City sailor is a catalyst and green icon for a shift towards an utopian transport network, supported by hydrogen as a fuel that is inexhaustible, inexpensive and non-polluting.
In a similar way to how the sail engages and harnesses wind energy to drive a boat, the proposed tower captures prevailing winds through it’s semi permeable façade to sustain the tower and fuel the thousands of vehicles parked within it.
Drawing qualities from the Chinese ‘junk boat’ sail and how they adjust to accommodate for various wind strengths, the tower features two large ETFE ‘sails’ composed of wind turbine panels that harness energy from different directions. Each panel component acts like a sail with its mast and batten to channel lift and horizontal force. When wind force reaches high speeds, they collaboratively rotate the façade surface to an optimum angle for maximum velocity. At highest efficiency, the gap between the two surfaces face the direction of the wind perpendicularly; fabricating a wind tunnel that draws exceptional force through the individual turbines. The electrical energy generated is used to electrolyze water into hydrogen that is stored de-centrally throughout the tower for refueling of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The semi-open tower is a public display of sustainable technology and eco-friendly automobiles. As users ramp up the tower and it’s combination of gardens, function spaces and refueling parking lots, they become informed about the process and features of their energy network. At ground level, the large atrium stacked with hireable fuel cell vehicles can be easily accessed by both locals and tourists. As more users proceed to drive the sustainable vehicles, more carpark towers can disperse across the city to create a sustainable and efficient network.