ORKO
A floating hydroponic pavilion for Turku
2010

by Peter Jellitsch, Titusz Tarnai and Christian Tonko



orko1_Web Arial View from the East



orko2_Web Night View from the South(downstream)



orko3_Web Interior View - Screening Event



orko4_Web Pump System with Algea Containers



orko5_Web Components of the Pavilion



orko6_Web Geographic/Urban Context



orko7_Web Plan and Section



orko8_Web Arial View from the North-East








We understand ORKO as a reactor in a twofold sense. Literally a piece of the River is lifted up a few meters, thus elevating it above street level and directly confrontig the streetscape with its unfamiliar presence. This basin serves as experimental biochemical reactor, a habitat for algae nurtured by the huge remnants of agricultural nutritions contained in the river. Through feeding on nitrates and phosphates ORKO fullfills a certain function as cleaning agent while intentionally confronting the city with the phenomena of algae proliferation which occures every summer offshore in the baltic sea.
At the same time ORKO is a reactor in another sense. The space which is opened up between two transparent topographies serves the year of cultural capital as exhibition space, auditorium and social venue. Two ingredients - the ecosystem and the cultural production - are consolidated in a way that an unfamiliar situation with a not entirely predictable outcome is created. The Hydroponic Pavilion marks a departure from the sterility of the white cube as the space of art - instead cultural production is confronted with an unstable, dirty and living space. The Pavilion provides an auratic space, reminiscent of a solemn stalactite cave or the moist belly of a whale rather than the neutral space of classic cultural institutions. This is an intentional provocation but also an attempt to create a novel experience of space and culture.