Kyle Reckling

Kyle Reckling

Chicago, IL, US


20k [Leagues] Under the Sea

The site of the Tsukiji Fish Market is located on the Sumida River, which flows into the Tokyo bay.  The waterfront has the potential of being a very valuable asset to the market.   Instead, the market turns its back on the water as a resource.  Tokyo Bay is rejected by the Japanese population because of sanitary issues.  The bay is polluted with radiation, chemical waste, and heavy metals, making it the bay almost totally uninhabitable by wildlife.  The first step to get the Japanese population to acknowledge the waterfront is to clean it.  In order to really get the population to embrace the waterfront, the population must be involved in this cleaning process.

          Treating water to sustain marine life is a much simpler process than purifying water for drinking. This is achieved through the process of aeration and clarification. Aeration of water is necessary because when water becomes anoxic more bacteria can grow. When there is more bacteria in water it is much harder for marine life to survive.

          Aeration is the process of increasing the oxygen saturation in water. With an increase of oxygen in water, bacteria is not able to grow and survive. Clarification is the next step in the treatment process. In this step the water sits in a cylindrical container where the solids and oils can separate to be removed.

          We have developed a system that is essentially a string of small water treatment plants. Each water treatment container is broken up into and alternates between an aeration tank and a clarification tank. Between each tank there are additional filters to help separate the waste from the clean water. In addition to helping the water problem of Tokyo Bay, the structure can protect the city when flooding is a problem. Instead of cleaning the water and releasing it back into Tokyo Bay, the system can retain the water it collects until each container is almost full.

          We wanted to use a system that depended on the involvement from human beings to produce the energy used to power the water treatment facility.  Piezoelectric transducers are crystals that when deformed create a small electric charge that can be harvested.  This type of system is becoming more and more commonplace.  Dance clubs in Europe as well as train stations in Tokyo use it to produce energy.
          The form is designed to be a continuous surface weaving from corner to corner downward.  The surface encourages pedestrians to explore the varying conditions of the building.  The structure acts as a series of bridges each depending on the one next to it to stand.  The system dips up or down to act as structure, circulation, and opportunities of interior inhabitable space.

          A system like this is directly dependent on the amount of activity through the building. The responsibility of the effectiveness of the system completely relies on the people of Tokyo. Therefore, the more people who use the building directly relates to the amount of water cleaned. To harness even more energy from the piezoelectric transducers we have coupled the program of the fish market with an existing subway line running directly under the market. From the movement that the subway trains create through a building there is potential for much more energy to be harnessed. So in addition to increasing the amount of energy harnessed the subway system creates a program in the building that will draw people in on a 24 hour basis, ultimately creating more activity in the building.

          Therefore, the more people that occupy the building, the more water can be cleaned. This will increase the marine life in Tokyo Bay, and allow the opportunity to increase the fishing industry in Tokyo.

          Educating people about the treatment of Tokyo Bay is very important because the people of Tokyo do not trust that the water will ever be safe. We have added perforations in certain water treatment containers so people can actually witness the output of their movement. It is proof that with their help, the water of Tokyo Bay can be treated. In Addition to the perforations, there are large waterfalls at the entrance of the building showing all of the treated water being sent back into Tokyo Bay.

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Status: School Project
Location: Tokyo, Japan
My Role: two person design team
Additional Credits: Kevin Jele