2012 Skyscraper Competition
Kim Hongseop, Cho Hyunbeom, Yoon Sunhee, Yoon Hyungsoo
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean sits a mass of garbage that is 8.1% the size of the entire sea. It is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), and is estimated to contain over 100 million tons of waste. The debris gathers in that particular location as ocean currents convene in the Subtropical Convergence Region, and is causing grave harm to the immediate ecosystem and those within a broad surrounding swath.
The Plastic Fish Tower, a circular structure floating on the ocean surface within the GPGP, will collect and reprocess plastic, which estimates say comprises 90% of the GPGP and is often ingested by birds and fish, causing their demise. A large fence will circle the structure underwater in a 1 km diameter to capture all the plastic that floats its way. The plastic will be recycled within the structure and processed into plastic patches that can be assembled into fish farms to restore the ecosystem. In addition to helping mitigate the pollution, the fish farm will also have two added benefits: the buoyancy of the plastic fish farm elements will be enough to keep the entire structure afloat since plastic is in fact so buoyant, and it will position the structure as a tourist attraction. Bringing tourists to the GPGP would greatly help in disseminating widely the reality of this manmade ecological catastrophe. The tourists will be transported to and from the site by ships that are fueled by chemicals that will be collected from the processed plastics within the skyscraper in an as-of-yet-undiscovered method of chemical extraction.
The structure itself is a ring that rises above the water and also goes below, but is largely hollow. The outer ring holds residential and leisure spaces, and is connected at intervals by bridges that are enclosed underwater (and one that is open on the water’s surface). Fishing banks made from the recycled plastic funnel up through the middle of the ring, helping to keep the structure buoyant.