Ocean waste recycling design lab

by Adel Laura Saghegyi from University of Pécs, Faculty of Engineering and IT, Institute of Architecture, Hungary
Tutored by: Dr. Donat Retfalvi, Dr. Laszlo Mihaly Perenyi, Imre Gabor Szabo

Author comments:

I chose a topic for my diploma, which could bring a solution for a very pressing environmental issue, and it is the solid waste pollution in the oceans. The waste risks many lives and habitats of the living beings.
A possible solution could be a factory, where the solid plastic waste is recycled, and produces household objects, like furnitures, and building elements, with popular technologies such as 3d printing and thermo forming.
The location is in Portugal, Porto, where the Douro river meets the Atlantic Ocean. In the city, I chose an existing breakwater pier, to recycle it and adapt the spirit of the project to the location. This extreme place also provides wide range of possibities of renewable energy. I planned the building to be able to connect ships, which collect, process, and form the waste into raw material for the landbased factory. This building works as a gallery, educating and shoping area, too.
The main task was to preserve the pier as it is, not ruin it, only extend with new parts and functions. In the architectural way, I separated the rough concrete pier from the clear new part with a full glass wall covered ground floor. The upper floors are shaded and formed into towers to reach the ship and make the connection.
This project meant to be a self-supporting furniture and household object factory, which brings attention to the waste recycling, and stimulate the locals to the environmental protection, increase the economy, and creates several workplaces.

Tutor comments:

Adel’s project is very complex, it includes not only the architectural approach of a task, but also understand the influence of it on the environment. She used it as a tool to highlight on a global issue which needs to be solved, and proposed a solution, too.
This individual location required a special care of the existing edifice, because it was designed and built around 10 years ago, and to extend another contemporary architect’s work is a big challange. She continued the work as it could have been the work of the pier’s architect.
Furthermore, the location is highly extreme, and needed individual structures and solutions to be able to place a building up on the breakwater pier. She saw the limits of the site, but also thought of their potential as a new energy source, which makes the project more sustainable, besides its waste recycling function. She also took care of the exterior and interior to the small details.
The project overall is an individual work, which not only use a good design. This design has a purpose in social, economic and environmental field, and they can work together with an existing building, which gave the fundation to the project with its public function, and brought the new building’s function closer to the people.

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