The Greater London Authority (GLA) has declared that London must be carbon zero by 2050.
By 2025 London’s vehicle fleet will be zero-emission capable. Meanwhile, the city has set out ambitious goals to tackle the city waste crisis by targeting the widespread disposable economy. Furthermore, we are all confronting ways by which we can generate renewable energy.
Our proposal therefore positions itself against this decarbonized zero waste London context, addressing both local and global concerns. Our ‘Gas Station of the Future’ is a hybrid building, combining waste management and energy production. In short, it turns residual waste into useful energy, for charging electric vehicles and allowing other beneficial uses to flourish. It will be a centre acting as a local hub for recharging vehicles, recycling waste and reconnecting with the local community and economy.
The chosen site is an existing gas station adjacent to the coach station in Victoria. It is located within a busy transport interchange with high density residential and commercial buildings.
The building is a low tech modular timber structure that provides a robust framework and flexibility for future adaptation and extension. It is made up of 4 levels with distinctive but interconnected uses. The proposal is a destination for everyone; drivers, non-drivers and passers-by, local residents and visitors. It is a place to charge the car, deposit recycling and waste, and recharge the mind, body and soul through education, nourishment and connection(s). Our proposal is a place to Recharge, Recycle and Reconnect.
Drivers are able to drive onto the “Drive-in pads”, from which the vehicle is automatically recharged on a seamless 30-minute conveyor, picked up at the other end once fully charged. During this time, one can explore and utilise the building’s layers, or take a direct route to the roof for a stroll through a green oasis.
At the basement level is an incinerator and recycling bank where all waste deposited will be sorted into recyclables (collected to larger recycling plants) and organic waste prepared for incineration. Excess organic waste can be turned into compost fertiliser through a slower process of anaerobic digestion, and used to grow fruit and vegetables on the second floor allotment.
Unwanted items or material not currently recyclable can be deposited at the ground floor Workshop, for repair, reuse and appropriation. This is a place of learning, craft and creativity; a catalyst for a zero-waste revolution.
Steam from the incineration process will be channelled to the upper levels where it will mobilize turbines to generate electricity. London produces 1.75m tonnes of food waste per year – an opportunity to create electricity sufficient to power over 82,000 Teslas per day!
Excess water vapour and steam will be harvested at the top level of the building and converted back into liquid form. This will be recycled into the vertical urban farm utilizing hydroponic systems. This becomes a place for the mechanical production of food, sold and enjoyed on the vibrant rooftop street food market.