Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Sustainable Ark. Urban design by architect Luis R. Makianich

 The inhospitable world that lies ahead is caused by the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, which leads us to a change in attitude towards the use of the land. Natural disasters we have been experiencing in recent years, tell us that we must not only stop the environmental aggression, but defend ourselves from the nature’s contra-reaction. As in the Middle Ages, the walled city could be our last resource and the ocean, our next habitat.
The proposed city has a shell of reinforced concrete, of inverted bell-shape open to the sky; the slight tilt allows the entry of sunlight and prevents the prevailing winds, providing an ideal habitat for farming and people.
Clusters of micro communities are located inside, attached to the vertical circulation. They consist of 15-story buildings with self-contained residential units, offices and daily commerce; all this is surrounded by a living structure that provides the residents of the required green space to oxygenate and create a microclimate that is needed at the highest levels. These structures will be used as farms and community gardens.
Each dwelling unit has its own fully-connection to the outside world by worldwide network, leading to an urban decentralization and energy saving mass transit.
Economic and cultural exchange occurs on the bridges that connect the central vertical circulations with the peripheral ones, placed at various levels in a cross shape, serving as inter-neighborhood connection with schools, supermarkets, entertainment facilities and communal agencies inside as well as outdoor plazas on their roofs.
These bridges, also serve to transfer the dynamic loads from the towers to the perimeter, also separating each tower to reduce the size of the support columns.
The base of the concrete perimeter wall is submerged in the sea that contains the treatment plants which turn the waste into gas for the complex. There is also a water treatment plant to reuse water for irrigation of croplands.
The roof of each tower and the perimetral houses’ blinds are equipped with photovoltaic panels for heating, cooling and electricity.

An interior lagoon is located at sea level connected by dikes levelers, acting as a harbor, protecting the city from waves and tides, and is used as a fire reserve tank, as well as a photovoltaic’s battery.

PROPOSED technologies:
We propose growing vegetable gardens suspend from a living basket created from a bundle of logs and branches through the use of synthetic biology, creating an organism programmed to behave like a computer, by prunes placed around the vertical circulation ducts, fed and fertilized by hydroponic system.
These products also play the role of exchanging and recycling of waste located in the submerged levels of the building.
Artificial photosynthesis will be used through various procedures to achieve efficient and cheap power. Under the artificial lake located at sea level, there is a laboratory that develops the separation of hydrogen and oxygen during light phase photosynthesis to replace oil as an energy source to get water efficiently.
Dark phase of photosynthesis seeks artificial catalysts that produce fuel from the carbon dioxide or its derivatives.
Domotics will be used in energy saving, comfort, security, communications and accessibility.
Mixed architecture allows individual market devices and provides a centralized structure that promotes energy saving, furthermore, it is flexible for future technological changes.
Finally, the shape of the wall, which ascends in a spiral, is proposed to support the growth of population, expanding its foundation towards the Earth's core, like an underwater living tissue using synthetic biology.

Design, text and panels by architect Luis R. Makianich. Reproduced with his permission.
All rights reserved.

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