Sun, wind and rain powered London “Oasis”
20 Jun 2006
Designed by architect Laurie Chetwood the London Oasis is a demonstration of sustainability and renewable energy working with aesthetic architecture to provide a tranquil space ñ an oasis for London.
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The London Oasis was today (June 19) opened by Nicky Gavron, the Deputy Mayor of London, on Clerkenwell Green, London EC1, as part of the London Architecture Biennale 2006 and national Architecture Week (June 16 — 25).Designed by architect Laurie Chetwood the London Oasis is a demonstration of sustainability and renewable energy working with aesthetic architecture to provide a tranquil space ñ an oasis for London. The 12 metre high kinetic structure mimics the design of a growing flower: its photovoltaic petals’ open and close in response to the sun and moon utilising daylight to generate power. This is supplemented by London’s first hydrogen fuel cell in a public area integrated with photovoltaics and a wind turbine, to make it self-sufficient. It even uses rainwater it has collected for irrigation and cooling air.Nicky Gavron said: “The London Oasis shows that cutting edge architecture can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help tackle climate change. As chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership I am pleased to see that the London Oasis incorporates a hydrogen fuel cell, which pumps out water vapour rather than harmful emissions. At a time when we are facing water shortages, it is essential we look at ways to conserve our water supply and using rainwater for irrigation and cooling is very efficient.“Laurie Chetwood explained: “The Oasis allows Londoners to get away from the noise, pollution and bustle of city life. It provides a tranquil oasis in an urban area where people can enjoy a more comfortable environment, meet friends, watch the oasis interact and enjoy entertainment. This all in the knowledge that their enjoyment is not costing the planet as the Oasis is self-sustaining; harnessing and recycling natural resources.” At the base, the Oasis has five pods’ inside which people will be secluded from the noisy and polluted surroundings, enjoying cleaner cooled air, and relaxing sounds. There are also further areas providing social rendezvous and a stage for entertainment.The Oasis is smart’ in that it interacts with the environment around it. It senses time, the weather, and people, and responds accordingly. At night, it uses the energy stored during the day to power a beacon in the form of a light show, which responds to the movement of people around it.Laurie Chetwood continued: “Architecture has the ability to inspire and excite. It can fill us with emotion on so many different levels. The Oasis epitomises this: it is architecture which reacts and responds to whatever is going on around it.“Paul Finch, editor of The Architectural Review, said: “This is a delightful example of how serious environmental issues can be addressed and described in a way which is accessible to the public and which would brighten up any city site. Let’s have more of them!” For more information visit: www.thelondonoasis.com
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