shiftboston

Treepods

I think Fern Gully is being channeled here. Designers Mario Caceres and Christian Canonico of Influx_Studio in France wanted to mimic the carbon filtration process of trees. The design was submitted in to the ShiftBoston contest in hopes of curbing CO2 gases in the city. The treepods use solar and kinetic energy to suck CO2 out of the air and produce oxygen. 

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“the fabric of a city changes little over one human lifetime. over centuries however, it can change significantly, this is ‘city time’, akin to geological time in its imperceptibility. Boston shares its developmental characteristics with the many coastal cities,. over time the archipelago of islets and headlands has been encrusted with flat gridded reclamation. the length of the interface between land and sea has changed. more importantly, the character of that interface has changed, reduced to a more one-dimensional relationship suitable for shipping, distribution, logistics. what now, for Boston’s coastal fabric, with port activity changing and sea conditions threatening?

‘hundred-year’ snapshots of Boston reveal the essence of the coastal interface. the length of the interface increased with reclamation, but only to a point, a maximum interface coincided with an equal ratio of land to sea. Since then, the length of the interface has been reducing, with rising sea levels and increased flooding from the Charles and Mystic river, Boston’s destiny seems to be a reversal of that process; the ‘natural condition re-imposed. this project finds a middle ground; rejects the concept of ‘nature’ simply reasserting itself, but equally rejects the notion of ‘protection’ against nature. if there is a future for Boston, it lies in the re-imagination of the coastal interface. what if the interface exploded? no longer linear, its dimensions becomes infinite. the Dorchester flats, and many other Boston districts, offer the opportunity for a new landscape of living; a complex multi-dimensional interaction with the sea. the spatial complexity of the new interface gives rise to infinite combinations of land and sea, with new hybrid, land-sea scenarios. art galleries flood, elevated canals hold water back after the flood, flood water is slowly released, drip-feeding, reminding us and protracting the process of rise and fall. functions float and move, appear and reappear. ecosystems emerge in unlikely places, inter-tidal zones renew and tidal change is re-emphasized. the ephemeral of this new district brings solid of the city into sharp focus, and returns the deep contrast crucial to city living.


this is not flood protection. this is flood facilitation. this is living in the flood. “

Dermot foley landscape architects