Seaweed Machine

Regenerative Architecture at Tung Ping Chau

Jessie Wong Lok Hei
MArch thesis 2020

This thesis explores the idea of regenerative architecture as a new design paradigm to address climate change, using seaweed and its various roles in society as a foundational element for investigation. Seaweed can intake around five times more CO2 than terrestrial plants, as they transform the dissolved CO2 into carbohydrates through photosynthesis.

Responding to the abandoned island of Tung Ping Chau island’s ecological resources, the project converts the north-easternmost offshore island of the New Territories into a seaweed-sustained enclave that can generate energy and food and re-connect society with nature-inspired architectural thinking.

The project adopts the metaphor of machine to connect different stages of seaweed manufacture and processing in order to recycle CO2 and regenerate the island’s dilapidated villages. The factory, filled with tailor-made machines, plays a vital role to transform seaweed as raw material into energy (biofuel), food and resources to support the island. Excess seaweed could be used as construction material to repair half-ruined village houses. Cultural attributes of seaweed are preserved and promoted that through complementary educational programmes.

The project envisions an alternative nature-inspired design approach, reconnecting villagers to the natural cycle while providing a new design prototype in response to current climate change

Awards

CUHK Best Project 2020 commendation
HKIA Student Medal 2020 Winner
ARCASIA Thesis of the Year Awards 2020 Bronze award
RIBA President’s Silver Medal 2020 nomination 

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