Scotland, United Kingdom
Located on the coast of North-West Scotland, Hydrokinetic Energy Geyser and Tidal Pool Resort designed by the experimental architect Margot Krasojević merges tourism and leisure with clean electrical energy generation in an area that is very popular for surfing and water activities.
The entire resort sits on an artificial floating platform made from clusters of hollow hexagonal ballast-like columns housing vertical dual reversible turbines that can increase the resort’s area by floating and locking sections into the frame.
The turbines form is inspired by the surrounding volcanic basalt rock coastlines, creating different height levels and enclosed rock pools—they are hollow, allowing the seawater to enter as the tide rises to turn the turbines to generate electricity, then turn in the opposite direction as the water levels ebb, providing a more dynamic and efficient way to harness tidal energy.
One of the attributes of this artificial floating turbine landscape is a series of interlocking caves that protrude like a boat bow facing the open sea to catch and direct waves.
The open hollow frame structure has the characteristics of a marine geyser: the intention is for seawater to enter, forcing it up through its vertical shafts, creating hydrokinetic pressure to enable the turbines.
This artificial geyser is pivoted from the main structure and landscape, adjusting to weather and sea conditions for maximum electricity generation.
One of the purposes of this design is to use architecture to regenerate and protect the coastline.
The turbine clusters are built using marine Geopolymer concrete for strength and low-density mass, offering resilience and movement with minimum fabric damage, wear and tear, or weathering.
This floating tidal pool docks in various locations along a coastline to aid the marine ecosystems and to propagate inter-tidal habitats.
The landscape caters to four pool habitats, and the levels of seawater and air exposure differ, attracting marine species that adapt to these conditions.
Oxygen content, wave force, and salt concentrations make it a harsh ecosystem that determines the ability of native plants and animals to survive and thrive.
The artificial landscape recreates its natural counterpart’s characteristics.
Electricity is generated using tidal energy by creating different water levels.
During high tide, seawater enters the tidal landscape.
The difference in water levels across the landscape tidal pool requires enough water to flow into and through the turbine clusters in order to activate the turbine runners to generate electricity.
The same happens during the ebb tide—the landscape staggers the water flow for maximum head over time, similar to a capacitor that stores and releases water across the cluster sections for efficient electricity generation.
The clustered turbines create a shelf onto which the resort sits, enclosing numerous rock pools; the volumetric study explores three habitable elements used by tourists/holidaymakers that fold upwards from the canopy’s frame when not used during the off-season.
The canopy frame, built using galvanized steel, resists rust and is light, yet strong enough to support the acrylic and polycarbonate clad panels.
The galvanized steel truss frame can span large areas without the need for internal columns, providing a flexible open plan space.
The resort has a series of interlocking cabins providing shelter for holidaymakers defined by the canopy that can fold for privacy, from open-plan to modular, private spaces.
The resort is of minimal luxury as it caters to short-term stays and its design is a flexible and formable architecture.
Its architecture integrates tourism with green energy while supporting marine biomes and ecosystems.
The hydroelectric tidal pool can float at the end of a pier or causeway.
One of the main characteristics of the building is that it can adapt to its environment, as the turbine clusters can be re-arranged accordingly.
The turbine landscape can also be connected to the existing rocks, resting on piles driven into the coastline or floated further out like a pontoon held in place by tension leg platform construction tethered to the seabed, eliminating movement out of position similar to oil rig anchors; alternatively, dynamic positioning thrusters can be used.
The building typology addresses the resort and power plant functions to provide accessibility to the coastline and to offer recreational facilities to holidaymakers while protecting the natural habitat and ecosystem.
The columns, clad in wood, provide a filtering system protecting the sea from building pollutants.
A ledge of solar panels sits two meters below the seawater surface, close to the landscaped entrance.
The opening to the sea has maximum exposure to the sun and reflected light, and the solar panels contribute to the energy generated and sent back into the mainland grid.
The resort aims to provide 1MW of electricity for 1000 Scottish mainland homes.
Project: Hydrokinetic Energy Geyser and Tidal Pool Resort
Architects: Margot Krasojević Architects
Lead Architect: Margot Krasojević
Renderings: Margot Krasojević