Macau Incinerator bid
The Macau Incinerator Development and Expansion is located in Taipa, close to the Taipa ferry terminal and across the street to the Macau Airport, Aeroporto International de Macau. It is also surrounded by industrial facilities, faces toward the sea and is braced by a mountain in the back where an Observatory is located.
It is an unique site and we wanted to achieve an elegant yet subtle and sensitive facility that reflects a fit for purpose within the context of the surrounding environment.
The scheme lets the technology be reflected in the architecture and does not hide its elements that can be expressed architecturally. Leaving some of the equipment exposed also allows and achieves that the massive volumes of the buildings are only as large as they need to be.
The technical elements, be they visible as an exposed element such as the chiller units on the roof, or the turbine buildings with the glass curtain front, allow the facility to engage with the area at large.
The same way a large glass front at a terminal building gives views into the events that take place in the building, the advanced engineering of the machinery in this building is shown as a feature that can be celebrated.
The engineering team wisely clustered the 6 stacks required within two towers equipped with maintenance stairs and requested us to make them look more "architectural". Our response was to build the access stairs following a conventional triangular truss and then clad it with a tensile structured net supported by an ultra light diagrid structure of the same type pioneered by the Russian constructivism genius Vladimir Shukhov in the 1920's, but with a more sculptural purpose.
At the centre of the plant, the truck parking and manoeuvring area, a.k.a. tipping hall is covered with a translucent tensile structure that besides protecting from the sun and rain will keep the hall flooded with natural light and contain the spread of unpleasant smells. Its jagged roof shapes match the pointed ridges formed by the chillers units on the higher buildings.
Some technical aspects and materials of the incinerator are carried to the office building. The pipes that wrap the chillers are reinterpreted and are the supporting structure for horizontal louvers that shield the office building from the southwesterly sun exposure.
These louvers will greatly reduce the radiant heat infiltration into the office building as well as reduce the glare into the office. Both will aid greatly in lessening the air conditioning costs for the facility.
The complex also uses green roof technology to further project an environmentally conscious development. This consideration is further fostered through solar panels on top of the office building. The extent of the solar photovoltaic panels can be expanded to other buildings.
A cautionary note, a glare study will be required to see if the reflectivity of the solar panels will create a glare condition for the pilots of an approaching aircraft or the air traffic control tower staff.
The main materials used are metal panel systems, and corrugated metal panels with highly durable finishes that are easily maintainable and have high wear ability in the relatively harsh environment next to the ocean, the airport and the plant itself.
The incineration facilities will be a modern, timeless project with smooth and slick finishes that will make it distinguished from the the surrounding industrial buildings without standing out too much from the infrastructural character of the neighbourhood.
A world class technologically advanced development with easy to care for, cost effective, finishes and materials.
Architectural Design : Aretin Altmann and Daly Moreno
Engineering : AECOM-HK, Asia RealTime and umwelttechnik & ingenieure GmbH
Computer Graphics and BIM : Daly Moreno