This is not a museum!
project: Ocean a(way) year: 2018, typ: open international competition, competition: Ocean - Sea Museum program: sea museum area: 20.000m2 architecture: Opposite Office, team: Benedikt Hartl place: Funchal, Portugal
For some the plastic problem in the Ocean seems to be far away. But it is not! This Ocean Museum draws awareness to the change of mentality in sustainability, conservation, and elimination of ocean plastic by simultaneously being a plastic recycling plant.
For the international competition for a new museum for the oceans, we changed the given program. Instead of the required museum spaces we designed a plastic recycling plant. Humanity intervenes more and more in the habitat of the seas. Why do we want to build a museum for the oceans? Isn't it enough to destroy the world's oceans? Do we want to watch it live, too? Ideally through a fully glazed high-security glass-pane, as it is being installed in numerous new projects by the architectural elite? Preferably an underwater restaurant from which we can gaze at sharks, whales and colorful shoals of fish? Is that human evolutionary superiority?
Shouldn't we instead try to preserve our seas? Overfishing, litter pollution, and habitat destruction in coral reefs, shallow seas, open oceans, and on the coasts have shrunk stocks of many species to the lowest levels in living memory. The climate crisis puts the sea under additional stress.
Instead of planning a (environmentally harmful) new building on the coast of Portugal (as stipulated in the competition announcement), we propose to build a floating recycling plant instead, which on the one hand cleans the sea and on the other hand is effective in publicizing the pollution of the oceans.
The facility takes plastic waste out of the sea and produces recycled boats for the seawater outdoor pool and plastic souvenirs for the visitors. The offshore museum in the Atlantic Ocean can only be reached with these recycling boats. So, the museum visit really becomes an adventure.
The pseudo-sustainable bourgeoisie visits the new Ocean Museum to detect desperately disappointed that the new museum is actually not a museum. This is (not) a museum!
Unfortunately, our proposal could not achieve first place in the competition, in which over 100 entries were submitted, but hey at least there was recognition and the project was awarded an "Honorable Mention". The pseudo-sustainable bourgeois does honor sustainable ideas!