There has never been a greater need than today for more environmentally aware architects, and it is refreshing when architects voluntarily come up with solutions to environmental issues. The Noah Oasis designed by Ma Yidong, Zhu Zhonghui, Qin Zhengyu, Jiang Zhe of China, is one such project – an Honorable mention in the eVolo Skyscraper Competition, 2015.
Human beings have forgotten that they are not the only ones inhabiting this planet; they share it with millions of other species. The number of offshore oil rigs in the world as of 2014 number 1219. The image below shows the status of Oil spills from 1901 to the present day. This is a real problem that we need to face, instead of simply exploiting everything that Earth has to offer, and endangering other life forms.
The concept behind the design is inspired from the workings of a tree. The designers’ use of the prowess of nature to tackle a problem jeopardizing nature is biomimicry at its best. Imagine that an oil rig has roots, like a sapling would have – in case of an oil spill, these roots, that are actually tunnels, would become active and immediately spread out to the waters to absorb the oil spill.
This oil would thereafter be converted into a fertilizer for the growth of coral reefs along the roots. It would also be used to create plastic which would be 3D printed to create a twig like pipe structure above the water, forming a tree. Within this twig like pipe structure would be built residential towers to house people affected by oil spills and tourists. The pipes would grow and entwine together and use the fertilizer for growing vines along themselves, which will attract migratory birds. The structure will also have a research center and a recreational center to enjoy the marine habitat.
Not only this, the Noah Oasis gets its name from its long term strategy. In the words of the designers, “when the sea level rises to a disastrous degree, the twig like structure would continue to remain above the sea level; then the oil rig will become the Noah Oasis.” Though it is a concept, and may or may not be executable in its entirety, it seeks to solve the problems of marine habitats, as well as human habitat.
By: Sahiba Gulati