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Taming The Thames

By:  | July - 11 - 2017

2017 Skyscraper Competition
Editors’ Choice

Guan Wong
United Kingdom

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The Living Thames Barrier and The Pursuit of Perpetual Power

This project tackles some of London’s polemic issues – the underdeveloped city and infrastructure of East London, the preparation of the estuary airport and the need for a new flood defence barrier. The current Thames barrier is under large stress due to the rising sea level and unexpected North Sea surges, a new Thames barrier is required to protect London from flooding. The Living Thames Barrier challenges the typology of a conventional barrier where enormous investments are solely spent on a defence system. Instead, the intention of the project is to enquire into the possibility of using the area over the river to create a new barrier city with renewable energy that can sustain or possibly payback these large scale defence investments. There is currently a heated debate surrounding the possibility of relocating Heathrow airport to a new airport terminal in the Thames estuary. The Living Thames Barrier would alleviate people’s concerns by providing the necessary transport, flood defence and workforce infrastructure required as a stepping stone to potentially make a new Thames estuary airport viable.

This scheme would provide cheap and renewable energy for the working and living environments of the corporations that would inhabit this barrier. The Living Thames Barrier be a vital catalyst for the economic development of East London. This is due to the new area after the barrier that is protected within the flood insurance scheme as well as the attraction of large corporations and their associated workforces. In summary, the Living Thames Barrier will provide an elegant and integrated solution to the issues that are currently seen as unrelated. It relates these issues with one another by: developing East London, a defence barrier, a stepping stone to a viable airport as well as a way of living with completely renewable and sustainable energy.

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