Project by Ábel Bálint
Consulted with Zsófia Csomay
Supervised by András Göde
The objective was to design a building complex based on the latest algae technologies, to be attached to an industrial area within Budapest by the bank of the Danube. I wanted to create a space not detached from the surrounding area, which would also include housing and research facilities.
The idea was not to follow the usual way of hiding industrial buildings behind colossal concrete fences, instead trying to create a power station that is open to visitors and which is therefore capable of bringing technology closer to the people. The complex works in symbiosis with the nearby thermal power plant, thus utilizing its emission to provide the algae reactors with carbon dioxide that helps these “superplants” to grow and reproduce with immense rapidity. The other necessary condition (besides sunshine) for algae growth – water – is provided by the Danube flowing in close vicinity. These algae bioreactors could not only diminish the ecological footprint of the nearby power plant all the way to zero, but the algae they produce could also serve as fuel itself.
The building seeks to answer the question of whether it is possible to combine an industrial design with the creation of a habitat for living and working, thus establishing a living space in a supposedly inanimate area. In my vision, trees, flowers, pets and people would populate the site, with the reactor rows serving as fences to separate the private gardens – all with a view to the Danube – to provide the required intimacy for the inhabitants.