CITY-FIELD

FALL 2017
UNDERGRADUATE ARCHITIECTURAL THEORY STUDIO
STUDENTS: IVAN VENTURA
FACULTY: ANTONIO PETROV + ASHLEY HEEREN

RECOVERING WATER AS NARRATIVE IN THE DESIGN OF OUR WORLD

City-Field during an evaporative energy collection.

This project imagines a future in which we draw from water’s operationalized and commodified qualities and its natural processes to rethink the spaces it can produce and the impacts it has.

WATER AS REPOSITORY: INFRASTRUCTURAL MORPHOLOGIES IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

The beginning of this project consists of mapping water in San Antonio, Texas in the form of infrastructural moments. Where does water make itself most visible to the human eye? 9 locations were selected based on their substantial geographic footprint, and broken down into morphological components. These components illustrate how water is given space to by the human hand. 

OTHER NATURAL REPOSITORIES: RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS

Currently, two primary global sources of renewable energy are thermal power and wind power. By relating these these two natural processes to water, they expose a new way to think about energy, infrastructure, and space altogether.

PROPOSED UNTAPPED ENERGY SOURCE

EVAPORATION OF WATER MOLECULE

Today, there are multiple examples of evaporation-driven engines that can power common tasks locomotion and elecricity generation. One technology that currently exists, the HYDRA, a floatinng device created by a group of scientists at Columbia University, allows and blocks evaporation in a cyclical manner. In this way, energy can be constantly extracted while evaporation takes place over a body of water.

SITE: THE OPERATIONAL LANDSCAPE

Sea surface temperature, 1851 - 2017

Hurricane paths which damaged the US, 1851 - 2017

The natural processes of the average hurricane cause ocean surface water to evaporate at a powerful rate. The average hurricane’s wind energy equals about half of the world’s electricity production in a year. The energy a hurricane releases as its surface water evaporates is greater than 200 times the annual global energy use. This is more than civilization can currently harness with its existing infrastructures and methods. Energy, from this perspecive, is a landscape of opportunity, defined by evaporation on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean during the formation and movements of hurricanes.

This project rethinks the way we harvest renewable energy by suggesting that our current energy sources could be improved with the intervention of an evaporative energy field that can harness these kinds of storm energies.

DISSECTING THE STORM

In order to form, hurricanes draw surface winds into their low pressure center, the eye. The heating of the sea surface as hot surface winds travel generates large amounts of evaporative energy. As more evaporation takes place, the storm winds get faster, causing a closed loop cycle.

TROPICAL STORM WIND ENERGY, AXONOMETRIC SECTION

Upon further research of the anatomy of a hurricane, a full 3D model was
created in order to cut precise sections of what its energy over the ocean’s surface would look like if it were visible. Each block of white and blue pixels represents a wind band within the storm. The fastest winds, in blue, occer along the surface of the ocean and at the periphery of each band. The exception is the outer bands, in which the wind energy dissipates at the outer edge of the bands.

TROPICAL STORM EVAPORATIVE ENERGY, AXONOMETRIC SECTION

Evaporative energy in a hurricane is not represented in the same pattern as its wind energy. These are two different phenomenons with different natural processes. Evaporation, in yellow, occurs over the ocean’s surface while surface winds move inward toward the low pressure center of the storm. Once this evaporative energy reaches the eye, it reaches a high level of concentration and travels upward, then is expelled outward to the periphery of the storm.