Carbon Spring

Project title: Carbon Spring

Team: Yiou Wang, Linru Wang

Shortlisted competition entry for UNI Hourglass, 07/2020

Site: Al Haram, Giza Governorate, Egypt

Carbon Spring is a waste-to-energy-to-onsen system that utilizes the exhaust heat and gases to heat the carbonated onsen and engage the traveler in a spatially convoluted and psychologically contemplative walk. It uses the phenomenon of chemical transformation of CO2, which is not visible to the visitor, as a metaphor for the excessive human activity that causes warming. The circulation path is disruptive to the mental experience of the visitor. The visitor will need to sacrifice – to climb the tunnel of stairs that spirals around the tower, building up anticipation in total internal invisibility – to reach the bathhouse of hedonistic pleasure. Then, the visitor will leave the bathhouse descending a walled spiral, where they can hear the laughter from the bathhouse recede in distance and feel and see the heat of the gas pipes close around the path, until they exit the tower. On the path of exodus, the visitor is a voluntary prisoner; those who ascend the path of anticipation and finally enjoy a bath in the carbon spring are put in the place of elites, while a closer contact with exhaust pipes and an uncomfortable walk awaits them. We are setting up a gentle reminder that exile and ecstasy cannot be independent from warming and a circulatory sequence to contemplate on people’s impact on warming.

The visitor will need to sacrifice – to climb the tunnel of stairs that spirals around the tower, building up anticipation in total internal invisibility – to reach the bathhouse of hedonistic pleasure. Then, the traveler will leave the bathhouse descending a walled spiral, where they can hear the laughter from the bathhouse recede in distance and feel and see the heat of the gas pipes close around the Path of Exodus, until they exit the tower. On the Path of Exodus, the traveler has a chance to see the hot gas pipes through ribbon windows, the closeness and the hot and uncomfortable experience evokes the traveler’s awareness about the warming impact they make in traveling.

The system uses a phenomenon – a physical or chemical transformation that is visible to the visitor, as a metaphor to indicate a situation or condition that produces heat/ causes warming.

Over a period of approximately 10 years, the Well of Leftovers will reach 70% fulfillment, which gradually puts the power plant to a permanent dormancy. After that, the lifespan of the exhaust-heated Carbon Spring comes to an end and the water evaporates, leaving the once-active tower a forever dormant ruined memorial.

The monument’s limited lifespan as a bathhouse is an epitome of human impact on our fragile ecosystems.

Threshold
Ascending
Onsen (Bathhouse)
Exodus
Descending
Exit
Concept sketch
Mind diagram

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