Project Work Status: Completed Projects
The study attempts to utilize the landscape, taken in its totality; working through its embedded materiality and physical conditions, as the primary instigator of design, in opposition to the conventional delation of the treatment of landscape to an afterthought. Appropriating fitness as the material relation between distribution form and program, Fields of Metabolic Cleansers structures a mutated morphological condition within the existing urban fabric, that is adaptable to allow for varied mutiplicities and adjacencies, whilst breeding hybrid typologies. The typology now, being discerned through the lens of performative fitness, rather than program or form.
The scheme proposes to striate the function of the park with that of an urban metabolic cleanser. The literal and figurative incubator, thus collects the black water and sewage from the immediate context and purifies it through ecological means, utilizing the process of Root Zone Treatments, into usable water. The process employs only natural means in all but the last step, which by regulation, regulates the use of chemicals to make the water potable.
CONTEXT The City of Quito is located in a valley and surrounded by a few small mountains and hills, situated in between two volcanoes, and as such functions primarily as a water catchment basin for its immediate context. The scheme proposes to utilize the natural slope of the terrain to navigate rain water run off, black water and sewage into the site, purify it and later re-inject- it back into the city purified.
Quito receives its water supply primarily from two sources, a glacier from a nearby mountain and an underground water reserve. However, unknown to the general population, the city is rapidly exhausting its natural water supply, with the water level of the reservoir is falling by more than 5 meters every year. Were this current rate of depletion to continue, the city will run out of its fresh water supply by 2030, unless preventionary methods are adopted or alternate means of water supply either by new infrastructure or by ecological recycling is introduced.
FoMC envisions the material conditions of the site of the park as infrastructure, subtly calibrated to suit the physicalites of the Root Zone Treatments.
The scheme utilizes an all natural ecologically sensitive wetland as the primary cleansing prototype. The prototype having a performative capacity of accommodating for 60,000 liters per day, transforms into the dominant global ordering element for the macro distribution across the site. One hundred and forty six such prototypical wetlands are proliferated across the site in regions that accommodate for the natural tendency of each of the steps of the purification system and cleansing process. In totality the prototypes administer the purification of approximately nine million litters of sewage a day, which is roughly 5% of the total sewage production of the city of Quito. In distributing the prototypes, with their individual sub parts across the site, each revealing in their own distinct sensibility of scale and materiality, the site inherits a skeletal armature; an structure that is both performative its in nature, as well as intrinsic to the terrain of the existing ground conditions. Using this distribution array as the defining framework, the site is then infused with additive functions of the park, complete with unprogrammed open greens, multiple accessibility paths for different user groups crossing the site, defined play areas for various usages, hard landscaping, dense greens, helipads, etc... The allotment of the wetlands distributed across the site allows for a variegated field condition that endorses families of multiple programmatic instances to emerge.
At the larger contextual level the park functions literary as the breathing lungs of the city, both experientially, and performatively, offering a much needed release from the dense existing fabric while also taking in the sewage and releasing it back into the city as clean potable water. The resultant landscape arising out of such a system merges seamlessly with the immediate context allowing for multiple access points into and through the park, with a different set of pathways and routes, each burdened with its own determined adjacencies, fine tuned to be conducive to multiple target user groups, be it leisurely walks, jogging, cycling or vehicular passage. An emergent by-product of the system is the appearance of a bicycle path that pulls into the site the existing route of the ciclopaseo, (a yearly festival revolving around a bicycling ritual through the heart of the city) from the nearing context, cutting through the entire length of the site, before releasing it to rejoin its original route to the north of the city.
The site is sliced into multiple packets by the flows of water , that branch out into small resting ponds, ultimately culminating into large reservoirs. The field is then proliferated with multiple types of trees each infused with their own performative capacities and powdered with bacteria tanks, while being dissected into multiple transportation routes. The resultant residual space as is then delated into multiple regions of differential landscapes, each of which allow both for a different genre of mutated uses whilst catering to a different set of user groups.
The reservoirs whilst tending to emerge in the low lying areas of the site, work performatively in the capacity of incubators, inherently possessing the ability to absorb and grow and shrink in unison with the immediate context, as the case might be. These emergent water ponds maintain the purity of the water through metabolic reactions, opportunistically utilizing products as biohaven floating islands. In totality the reservoirs have a holding capacity of close to three hundred million litters, which is approximately thirty days worth of sewage purification; before the clean water is discharged back into the city.
Using the material, found within the runway of the pre-existing airport as a measure of calibration, the system maximizes the magnitude of sewage treatment micro breweries. The total area of the runway is divided into one hundred and forty six segments; equal in number to the identifiable areas within the site, that posses a natural gradient of one percent, this gradient being the optimal slope requirement for the performance of the wetland. Based on the identifiable number, a width for the average wetland is calculated. These packets of 15m by 50m that form the individual breweries, are then proliferated across the site, allowing for an unequal albeit performative distribution of the wetlands.
WATERFLOWS / RESERVOIRS
Taking clues from the existing slope of the terrain, natural water flow paths are mapped out from the discharge exit of each of the wetlands. These flows tend to collect in the low laying areas of the site allowing for the emergence of the reservoirs; that collect water until it is discharged back into the city.
Integration of the site within its immediate context is achieved through a seepage of contextual circulatory paths within; with the instrument of regulation being the relationship between that particular path and the proliferated wetlands. Paths for multiple user groups are thus forged - seating, jogging, walking, bicycling, primary and secondary vehicular traffic, the cumulative of which allows for varied inter relationships between them to emerge.
Using the existing contours to map out regions within the site that exhibit a slope of one percent, a requirement condition for the creation of wetlands, general areas for the wetlands are identified, making note of the direction of the slope of the terrain. Mapping out water flows across the site, an undifferentiated field of nodes emerge, that would allow for water sewage directly into the wetlands. Dependent of their size and proximity to the wetlands each of the points is the denoted a function as specified vegetation or bacteria tanks. The bacteria tanks, are utilized to supply water to the wetlands, with the vegetation tending to be near the ponds, thus absorbing and cleansing the soil contaminants that the sewage water purification process tends to percolate in its proximity.
Cleansing Capacity of the Structural Armature of the Park
Number of Wetlands : 146
Cleansing Capacity per Wetland per day : 60 meter cube
Total Cleansing Capacity per day : 8760 meter cute
Total Cleansing Capacity per day : 9 Million Liters
Average Daily Waste Water Generation per person per day : 200 liters
Thus the park is able to clean waste water produced by 45,000 people every day, which is approximately 5% of the total population of Quito.
In essence the proposal accommodates for the landscape as the primary generator of distribution across a field. The process utilizes the technical and performative necessities, as well as material requirements of the different aspects of a specific pre determined ecological process as a design element and accommodates for them across the site, creating in the meanwhile a varied collage of a landscape that allows for an urban porosity and a seamless transition into its context.