Project description by jury
The project proposes a solution to reduce the environmental impact of the Big Bend Station, a coal-burning facility of Tampa Bay with a long history of pollution and limited oversight. The design consists of a network of facilities able to capture and utilize the harmful waste of the power plant and phosphate mine as a means of agricultural production. Bioreactors, open pond farms and constructed wetlands surround the site to generate a new productive landscape. The new facilities enable the containment of harmful algae growth due to phosphate mine runoff and utilize its potential for agricultural products. The new reactors collect over 90% of CO2 produced by the station. They are structurally integral, requiring limited additional structure, and are covered with soil and grass to generate playful landforms. The system is embedded in an expansion of the neighboring wildlife reserve, creating a naturalized buffer and refuge for the local manatee. Issues related to air pollution and harmful waste disposal demand urgent solutions. CO2 emissions from coal-burning power plants and waste runoff from phosphate mines constitute a serious environmental threat worldwide.
The LafargeHolcim Awards jury North America recognized the impressive relevance of the project that adapts to the specific site context to propose a clever and potentially replicable solution to mitigate these two environmental problems. Appreciation was expressed for the author’s ability to orchestrate technology, architecture and landscape in an integrated and research-based urban strategy. The design not only serves to advocate for climate justice but also provides new green spaces to the community as well as a safer environment to the local aquatic fauna. The jury commended the design ambition to reconvert the area into an appealing landscape that blends nature and architecture in an industrial dimension.
Closing the loop of Big Bend’s material and ecological flows
The state of Florida suffers from consistent toxic algae blooms along its coastlines, a product of phosphate and agricultural runoff. This project redirects these vectors at their source, containing the algae growth within an industrialized process to utilize its potential while eliminating the harms of its unmitigated spread. The most energy-intensive requirements of this new agriculture facility are provided as by-products of the existing power station: neighboring phosphate mine for nutriment, wastewater, and the heat for drying and harvesting processes. The project’s context, its Place, are the ingredients for its success. All additional energy consumed by the new facility is produced by an array of PV panels atop the bioreactor field.
Symbiotic infrastructures for carbon capture
Utilizing recent advancements in the fields of microbiology and agriculture, the harmful by-products of the existing power plant are mitigated and utilized in new processes. While these technologies are currently in use within their respective industries, this project orchestrates them as a collective (bio-reactors for CO2 sequestration, raceways for ag-production and waste treatment, biomass harvesting, wetlands) at the scale of integrated urban strategy. These strategies could be applied at any number of coal and natural gas power plants across the world, helping to limit the harmful effects of these methods of energy production during a global transition to clean energy. Emerging economies that rely on carbon-intensive energy sources would particularly benefit, promoting progress.
A 21st century agriculture: Produce and performance
The redevelopment of the station is monetarily incentivized by a new agricultural industry. Two forms are produced: high-quality products from the controlled bio-reactors for fuels and nutrition, and feed-grade products from open-air raceways, a critical component of 21st-century sustainable agriculture. Once the station is phased out, the reactors can be removed and deployed to other remedial sites. Additionally, low-income and minority groups are the most likely to be impacted by harmful industrial facilities within communities, which diminishes local air and water quality. This project not only serves to advocate for climate justice but also provides new public green space for these underserved communities, addressing the concerns of People and Place.See more
Big Bend Power Station is a coal-fired power plant that pollutes and impacts Florida’s coastal environment. The proposed project will reduce the environmental impact of this power plant. Available material resources are used in concert to sequester carbon and better manage emissions. A network of bioreactors, open-pond farms, and constructed wetlands supports agricultural use and reduces the emissions. The system is embedded in an expansive wildlife reserve – a buffer and refuge for the local manatees. The jury finds the concept a clever and reproduceable idea to mitigate environmental problems. It aims to transform the area into an attractive landscape that combines nature, architecture, and infrastructure. “What is fascinating is that the project takes the existing and tries to make the most of it,” says Marilyne Andersen.
“It tries to restore the old value and even give a new value on top.” Architect Samuel Clovis from Los Angeles hopes that the LafargeHolcim Awards prize will help in the further development of his idea: “I’m hoping that the momentum can help the transition from conceptional research to large-scale, real-world application of this technology.”Read more »
Next Generation 3rd prize winner Performative Landscapes in Florida – Contextual reconversion of an industrial site by …
Next Generation 3rd prize winner Samuel Clovis, architect, Los Angeles, USA on Performative Landscapes in Florida – …
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