Transformative Machine: Hackney Digestive Tract

The transformative machine reveals and reactivates forgotten industrial artefacts and empty volumes of Haggerston Bathhouse through the insertion of a new district heating system. New masterplanned developments within Hackney [east London] promise ‘green energy centres fuelled by biomass’ in order to satisfy council’s green agenda - but the proposed CHP plants remain hidden - formless and disconnected from the city proper.

Fed on the anaerobic digestion of Hackney foodwastes, the machine is stretched out, transforming disused canalside spaces into a new urban corridor. The articulated service spine augments existing facilities to establish a series of domestic social spaces that retain, re-utilise and re-circulate excess heat. 

The amount of organic waste produced by a city, normally invisible, is revealed through its recycling into spatial experience: heat, condensation, the hissing of steam, the rushing of water, the trickling of sweat. Like the stomach of the city, the machine reaches its limit at the end of each weekly cycle, its release becoming the expression of the city itself.

Undertaken at the Architectural Association