Honglin Li is an architectural designer and rendering visualizer in San Francisco, United States.

Skyscraper on the "Eighth Continent"

The Filtration Skyscraper

eVolo 2019 Skyscraper Competition Honorable Mention

Type: Individual Competition Work

Project: Floating Garbage Recycle Skyscraper  

Location: North Pacific Gyre

Date: Feb. 2019

FILTRATION is a highly modularized prefabricated waste-management and waste-to-energy power plant megastructure that contains several Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and Water Treatment Plants (WTP) to recycle the floating garbage continent and clean seawater in all levels from the different ocean across the world. The innovation serves not only for self-sustaining but also helping to resolve world energy crisis in this coming century.

FILTRATION works as waste-management and waste-to-energy power conversion plant skyscraper located in the “Eighth Continent”- a continent often referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean that spans water from the West Coast of North America to Japan. The size of the patch is estimated to be 8.1% of the size of the Pacific Ocean, twice the size of Texas and thrice the size of California, the rubbish layer in the area is on average 100 feet thick. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not the only vortex; while both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean have trash vortexes, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has the largest one. In addition, shipping routes in smaller bodies of water, such as the North Sea, are also developing garbage patches.

Unlike conventional material recovery facility that mainly relies on gravity and uses multiple conveyors to rise garbage mainstream several times for sorting and distribution, FILTRATION uses seawater to pump garbage and polluted water to the apex of the building, then filters water and recyclable material down to the bottom. Eventually, non-recycled material and recycled material will be transported away by tidal power. 

The main structure – the tree truck core allows for a flexible and inclusive range of facilities and plants to be attached on. Such facilities range from Plastic Recycling Facility to Waste-to-energy Power Plant, all of which can be accommodated in vertical aggregation on four sides as idealized and efficient dwellings at the foundations of the tower. Most of the facilities are composed of modular parts which can be replaced at requirements.

This proposal provides a sustainable and even regenerative solution to floating waste, as well as a second chance to reconstruct the relationship between nature and human beings.

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