Micro Power H20
Master’s Project, Spring 2008
Taeg Nishimoto Studio
Micro Power H20 is a micro-energy plant and water filtration facility sized to be integrated into the city. Solar aquatic systems, or “Living Machines,” are composed of plants and algae that feed upon the waste material in the water as it moves from tank to tank in a progressive manner producing a non-potable effluent. The building is also an interactive museum that integrates functional and educational components.
The project uses a limited palette of materials: steel, glass, and concrete, to create a visual solid-void relationship between elements. The building is clad in polished stainless steel and is articulated to produce a reflective look from certain angles, and alternatively a rhythm of light and shadow from other angles. This opaque surface contrasts with the translucent surfaces of the BIPV glass curtain wall system. By night, the glass appears almost completely transparent and contrasts sharply with the reflective stainless steel cladding. This allows passers-by to experience the building in a way that is constantly changing as a function of time and perspective.
The vegetation of the solar acquatic systems in, around, and through the building contrasts with the metallic and glass surfaces embellishing the juxtaposition between organic and less-organic components of the composition. Power and water are elements that are typically volatile when they meet, yet this project resolves that meeting in a way that is beautiful and interesting, ultimately creating a memorable experience and a meaningful place.