Carlos Ramos Tenorio

Dotación Energética y Apilamiento de Atmosferas Lúdicas Artificiales sobre el Highline . Nueva York


The project aims to provide Chelsea with a sustainable energetic supply, vertically layering the ludic idiosyncrasy of the High Line by introducing a myriad of atmospheric conditions derived from the energetic surplus of the powerplant, turning the linear park into a collection of stacked artificial landscapes.

Providing NYC with energy since 1823, Consolidated Edison aims to accomplish a sustainable energetic supply in a near future.
An investigation on the locally-implementable sustainable energy sources led to a crucial discovery: The State of New York is the fifth regional biomass producer in the Planet. A State crossed by a natural and navigable infrastructure constituted by the rivers Hudson and Mohawk, which would enable the shipping and delivery of the Biomass into the Metropolitan Area by means of the cleanest form of transport: bulk carriers.
However, combustion powerplants’ performance is hailed to be little optimal, for their habitually isolated condition implies a significant loss of energy, dissipated as heat.
But as the cities have expanded, some peripheral settlements have managed to reuse this energetic surplus as a free source of HVAC by means of cogeneration or tri-generation processes. Madrid’s Airport Terminal 4, by Richard Rogers, is an example of this phenomenon.
The energetic surplus of a powerplant devoted to supply a district of a city like NYC has the critic capacity to yield Public Scale Artificial Atmospheres, due to the singular levels of pressure, humidity and temperature involved in the productive process. From a certain point of view, these facilities have a great ludic potential.
Thus began a scouting for a metropolitan site which met the following conditions:
1. Proximity to the water (infrastructure + cold source for the powerplant)
2. Urban void to the South East (prevailing winds direction)
3. Public and ludic idiosyncrasy (to be fostered and boosted)
Such site happened to be framed by the 10th and 11th Avenues, as well as by the 17th and 18th Streets: placed in Manhattan’s West Side and poking over the Eastern Bank of Hudson River, the plot was crossed by the High Line, a truly ludic outburst.
A careful study of the plot regulations (source: rendered a 3-dimensional maximum envelope. Inside it, the whole industrial programme –chopped and boxed within a collection of prismatic, concrete containers- is attached to a vertical, concrete core, which hosts direct circulations, services and ducts.
The skin of the building is made of pyrex tubes. These are clad in chains which hang between the different concrete volumes, adopting catenary geometries, post-rigidized to counter the wind pressure and suction. The transversal section of the tubes (1250 x 500 mm) was stretched in the x-axis, in order to grant the overlapping between the pieces in every eventual catenary defined by the irregular stacking of the concrete containers.
And it is between this concrete totem and the pyrex façade where the artificial atmospheres and climatic-control devices occur, seizing the unique hygrothermal conditions taking place in the productive process. Sown by an escalator promenade, these are oriented in accordance to their properties (a tropical forest demands a radically different orientation than an ice rink), absorbing the surrounding urbanscape. This atmospheric stack is topped with a ‘residential’ use: an urban camping, granting a 24/7 use of the facility.
The biomass depot and the water tanks constitute the structural transition between the totem and the ground, rendering a vaulted, covered passage over the High Line whose supports dodge the former tracks.

For biomass combustion is considered CO2 neutral, the powerplant emissions are dyed pink, in order to display the eco-friendly nature of the energy feeding the neighbourhood.

Premios PFC COAM 2014. Primer premio ex-aequo

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