Anagenesis examines the notion of a post-industrial building envelope that engages natural phenomena as a productive force. The investigation, carried out by Hseng Tai Lintner at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, explores the interrelationship between the natural and the manufactured and focuses on the use of bioluminescence, a naturally occurring form of chemiluminescence that makes organisms like fireflies and jellyfish glow, to produce ambient lighting for the interior.

A series of laboratory experiments involving the harvesting of various bioluminescent bacteria strains and designing facade and food distribution systems that could support the growth of their colonies were conducted in collaboration with the Department of Clinical Bacteriology at Gothenburg University. The species that is most suited to the site and the nature of the project was Aliivibrio fischeri. This strain is endemic to the region, easy to cultivate, requires dark growing conditions with wide ranging optimal growing temperatures ranging from 4-25 degrees Celsius and subsists best on a simple medium consisting of sea water, peptone, yeast extract and glycerol.

The design of this has been supported by a dialogue between digital and analogue mediums that have throughout the process informed spatial relationships as well as performative systems. Investigations involved emulating the experience of geological formations through architectural language which was rationalized using a series of physical sketch models, computationally simulated fluid dynamics and equilateral mesh crumpling. The resulting smoke-like quality is an architectural anecdote to the building’s former use as a gasometer.

As a way of bringing the project full circle, and creating a narrative contrast between program and building envelope, the proposed program is a new museum of industrial history housed in a post-industrial installation in a derelict gasometer at Gullbergsvass in Gothenburg. The gasometer is a powerful symbol of Gothenburg’s industrial past and has been an important landmark for 80 years. The proposal is at once a homage to the city’s industrial legacy and an exploration of what things may come.

Design: Hseng Tai Ja Reng Lintner
Advisor: Daniel Norell

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