Transitory City

This scheme engages the existing oil infrastructure of Porto Eixo and uses it as a temporary framework for developing a more permanent biofuel industry. Two existing pipelines converge at the Barro do Furado, a pre-existing port and oil-centric, company town. This scheme engages the predetermined form of the pipeline, and extends it inland to two existing cities, Campos dos Goytacazes and Quissama. This new urban framework has two triangular extensions, one seaward engaging the infrastructure of the oil industry and one inland engaging a new industry based on ethanol.

With the high-revenue oil industry projected to fade in approximately twenty years, this scheme proposes three phases to engage the industrial transition from oil to ethanol using both “soft” and preexisting infrastructure as its schematic backbone. A new inland dialogue will be formed between Campos dos Goytacazes and Quissama based on the production of sugar cane — a connection that will become increasingly permanent over about a 35-year period. A regional triangle of production is established between these three cities, bound by existing infrastructure, and book-ended with urban settlements.

During the initial phase. floating platforms “plug-in” to Barro do Furado from the water. These structures engage the pipeline and cater to the programmatic requirements of the oil industry (extraction, collection, processing, storage, and distribution) but are meant to be temporary. As population increases and the ethanol production increases, a more permanent structure is built into the land to frame the edges of the inland settlement. The scheme at this phase, forms an “X” with Barro do Furado at the apex. The X signifies the point of inflection between land and water, ethanol and oil, and permanence and temporality. Some infrastructural correlation offers programmatic overlap including using the unloading dock as grinders, oil storage tanks as ethanol fermentation tanks, and refineries as a distillation facility. During the last phase, the land-cased infrastructure is solidified and the “soft” infrastructure of the water is allowed to float to other sites of production.

The finalized scheme is a “V” form, land-based network that mirrors the pre-existing pipeline geometry, revolving around sugarcane production/ ethanol industry and bookending the territorial triangle of production. This transformative scheme prevents the inevitable economic void after the oil industry seizes to profit the Campo region while encouraging sustainable biofuel development.

Project Designers: Laura Amaya, Caio Barboza
Project Advisor: Neeraj Bhatia
Cornell University, School of Architecture
2012