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Anthropocene Isle: BioCities / architecture / energy / landscape / urban design / waterSeptember 27, 2017

The Paljassaare Peninsula is shaped by two forms of conflicting ideology, environmentalism that strives to maintain the site as it is in a state of illusionary wilderness, and commercial development that envision its transformation into a ideal green city. Despite appearances both ideals are deeply conservative. 

Our proposal challenges such conservative sentiments with a large scale masterplan intended to promote a new urban morphogenesis whereby Tallinn's urban wastewater infrastructure deeply affects the biotic substratum of the peninsula. The resulting "contamination" becomes a morphogenetic force, inducing an artificial hyper-articulation of the landscape and its living systems which will evolve into a digestive apparatus or membrane. Pathogens are re-metabolized, diluted or captured by augmented ecosystems; infrastructural networks thicken into filtering surfaces, which in turn fold into convoluted epidermis populated by a large amount of biochemical reactors. 

The urban biome of Tallinn and the marine biome of the Baltic recombine into a bio-informational Anthropocene Island.

Proposed material protocols - Phase1 - Ground 

The phase 1 protocol for Paljassaare Peninusla proposes the morphological hyper-articulation of the existing landscape and its living systems. Constantly monitored via Satellite,  this synthetic urban landscape feedbacks to the city’s real-time wastewater network. Each molecular transaction has its spatial location, morphological effect, informational address and economical value.

The process starts with ESA (European Space Agency) supplying Level1 data from the Satellite Sentinel2 and 3 at resolution of 10x10 metre for an area of 3x3km framing the peninsula. Each pixel is representing a degree of biochemical activity defined as "wetness" and computed with the Normalised Difference Water Index algorithm. and reveals its dynamic changes throughout the time.

The resulting gradient filed is indexed at specific locations along its ISO lines at a resolution of 2m. In each location tendency lines are computed; longest lines appear in areas of highest difference in wetness or biological activity. Such locations possess maximum potential for thickening and articulating into biochemical reactors.

The 2000 wettest and more biologically active locations are networked to form a new, distributed, infrastructure or proto-filter. This provides the backbone of the new Paljassaare.  


Proposed material protocols - Phase2 - Air 

As these prototypical bundles for wastewater purification and sludge bio-digestion emerge they are equipped with active bio-technological units constantly cultivating their artificial substratum; the system is monitored in real-time sending information about the status of its internal metabolism and receiving updates from the wastewater treatment network. Its operations are constantly altered and adjusted by distributed sensing /feeding machines (cyber-worms).

The articulation of the existing landscape determines directions of flow and purification as well as emergent active bio-digesters. As the process of digestion generates nutrients and heat a new microclimate and related habitat emerges and differentiates. Growing plants, insects and birds are attracted and become active agents of urban transformation.

Where natural gas production, heat generation and nutrients metabolising will reach tipping point new enclosures will be erected, microlimatic urban islands to be inhabited on a permanent basis. These new urban super-blocks will be symbiotic of their counterpart in central Tallinn.  They will be fed by the old city's waste and in turn feedback natural gas and fertile soil.

The Paljassaare peninsula will keep evolving into an anti-centre of the old Tallinn, a densely inhabited inhuman garden populated by an assemblage of humans, animals, machines and other hybrid systems.


Project Credits:

A project by ecoLogicStudio: Marco Poletto and Claudia Pasquero (London, UK)

Design Team: Marco Poletto, Claudia Pasquero, Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Raphael Fogel, Terezia Greskova, Mauro Mosca, Anjie Gu

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