Smoke has never seemingly been easily absorbed into architectural thought. Following industrialization, architectural visualizations of all types of urban smoke have practically vanished from modern representations of society. If a city’s economic health was once represented by its smokiness equating with progress; now, the sign of a thriving city is the complete absence of smoke.
Jurong Island, the main industrial island in Singapore, is hypothesized to be perpetuating a falsehood in which the visibility of industrial smoke is camouflaged by removing the visible components (particulate matter) of it and letting the invisible escape into the air. By doing so, it breeds complacency and allows the public to believe that there are no harmful releases into our atmosphere.
This project proposes to raise awareness on this issue by being transparent about this condition, through a method by reversing the situation. The proposed building acts as a rather morbid signboard, which displays the collection of waste gases and its residue, while presenting the current PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) level. With refineries in its background emitting smoke, the information given is being contested and contrasted by the industrial pollution around it.
Further to the creation of this architectural image, the architecture shows an example of how this issue may be addressed by locating a tropical winery at the edge of Jurong Island. The winery takes full advantage of Singapore’s rapid progress of technology by using waste gases from the industries in the process of winemaking and publicizing it. The product is imagined to be eventually sold and enjoyed by those who utilize the output of Jurong Island, as the country’s ultra-premium export.
In this strategy, the visible aspect of smoke is retained and showcased, revealing and recycling the invisible particulate of the pollution. It showcases the issue through the creation of contrasts, implying the formation of a paranoia and anxiety on both micro and macro levels, both tangible and intangible manners, using strategies meant to galvanize images of contamination in our air and fear of contamination to our bodies.
It forces each individual to decide if our air is really clean and if the wine that they are drinking is indeed safe for consumption.