Simon James

Simon James

London, GB


Algae Biofuel Station

RSAW 'Remnants' Competition 2011

The history of this site in central Cardiff speaks explicitly of energy production, storage and distribution. If coal is the life blood of Wales then the trains are surely the veins and arteries.  There are traces of the old dependence on fossil fuels written into the fabric of the site. Where once was the cities gasometer a concert hall now sits, the headquarters of energy companies reside next to the all-important train lines elevated for pragmatic reasons but with metaphorical connotations.

The proposed intervention readdresses the issue of energy in a social and political climate that is begging for ‘greener’ solutions to energy. The implementation of the algae farm sees the process carried out in its entirety on site. Cultivation, harvesting, production and distribution all occur on the footprint of the two urban fragments. The incredibly high yield generated form an algae crop (30 more than next best biofuel) makes it ideal for implementation on such a small site.  Requiring only a saline solution, sunlight and CO2 it can easily be appropriated to thrive in and urban context. This process encapsulates the very nature of sustainable production which can instantly impact the city and act as a model for future developments. 

The scheme is designed to be entirely self-sufficient with minimal input resulting in maximum output. The nature of the process sees all water reintroduced into the growing cycle and all waste biomass being used as either an energy source or sold on for a number of other applications.

The site itself has potential for expansion should the scheme integrate well into the cities fabric. Space has been left for additional growing space, storage and distribution. There could also be potential for adding in an educational facility allowing people to learn first-hand about the production of sustainable solutions in modern life. 

Read more

Status: Competition Entry
Location: Cardiff, GB
My Role: Design collaboration with Jason Ramlugon, 3D modelling and visualisation, competition boards
Additional Credits: Jason Ramlugon

Current condition
Current condition