Grand Cancun The Stewards of the Seas
Inspired by the City of Cancun, a complex was conceived adapting the meaning of “kaan kun” (Nest of Snakes) and the magical legend of the Mayan Serpent God in its design. This Eco-platform was called “Grand Cancun” and condensed all ideas on self-sustainability explored in several projects and lectures. The Grand Cancun was conceived from the core to fight global warming (i.e. CO2 emissions). The systems on it contribute to the environment. reset urbanism towards the new clean metropolis, projecting the pride of a “sense of purpose” on its residents, amplifying the interest of its visitors and serving as a platform for business and finance, including luxury Eco-tourism.
The design has some familiarity with an offshore oil platform, using the same concept to minimize the impact and recover marine ecosystems instead of massive landfills as artificial islands to create more space. The technology to build mega buildings offshore is massively used worldwide (only in the Gulf of Mexico there are 3,858 oil and gas platforms. The technology to convert an oil platform into an Eco-platform is also viable! The standard Offshore Eco-Platform will be a mega-building, an offshore city standing on stilts where hotels, shopping malls, convention-congress centers, cinemas and loads more will provide all the needs and experiences available in a small city, while being totally self-sufficient, having a zero-carbon-footprint, and providing the surrounding land community with drinking water and energy from renewable resources! But the most interesting thing is that it will clean the seas! The shape of the building, its waterfront, and the coastal line will direct water right through waste collectors for floating solids and hydrocarbons. The water will be also nourished and purified to increase marine life. Above the water everything is planned to care for the environment, and about motivating people to share the responsibility.
Grand Cancun will generate surplus of clean, local renewable energy and alleviate to some extend the city's energy needs. Solar panels will cover most of light-facing areas, including see-through photovoltaic polymers on transparent surfaces. Every residential block on the tower will have vertical wind turbines (VAWTs) and solar panels. These solutions will avoid the environmental problems that HAWTs (horizontal-axis wind turbines) produce over immense areas of the sea, and it will incorporate the wind and solar power systems as architectural elements into a “vertical master plan concept design”. There are also underwater energy collectors of tidal and wave energy, Geothermal energy collectors according to location, and waste-to-biogas power plants by anaerobic digestion.
The lower level of the platforms would hold all the power plants and energy storage systems. Like all existing oil platforms, the project would contain large desalination plants producing drinking water for all the users of the complex and some for the community. All rainwater will be collected and reused. Wastewater is not wasted! It will be recycled, purified and reused for gardens.
Here there is a chance to study and monitor the marine development of the Eco-platforms by installing marine biology laboratories and environmental studies/sustainable energy university departments.
When this new green architecture gets built, it will reset around the globe the standards about what is possible and ideal as a resort, and will change the way we see our cities forever. The best of the idea is that eventually his building concept will be replicated in such a scale that the return to pristine clean beaches will definitively be there for our grandchildren to enjoy. The feasibility of the platforms is enormous considering the many different types of platforms and mooring available now, prepared to take any environmental conditions in all geographical locations, including eventually some far in the middle of the oceans, cleaning, protecting, generating. The ultimate stewards of the seas!