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Danish Design for Urban Bioremediation
Sarah Rich, 26 Feb 06

aerial_WC.jpg Green spaces can go a long way towards renewing cities. So, too, can housing developments and neighborhoods that facilitate community interaction. Bring these things together, and you have the makings of a vibrant urban community. Add bioremediation to the mix, and you have something that looks like Studio Force4's Boase Concept: "a supplement to the existing ways of urban living."

The Boase Concept begins with a forest, planted in contaminated soil in the middle of the city. Native species such as Oak and Alder, alongside Willows and Poplars (which decontaminate land and filter polluted water), create a nascent green space that will be managed over time to promote continued remediation and healthy trees.

"In the urban context, the forest becomes a structuring element that provides identity to its surroundings and serves as a navigation point. In the forest, the hectic life of the city is put in perspective."

The next phase introduces dwellings to the forest, planned as an interwoven network of private and community spaces, all raised above the ground where residents can see over the treetops. Exploring what's now a common theme among prefab designers, the living spaces combine static and flexible components. Fixed private spaces sit around a shared area, with dividers that can isolate the private residence from the commons.

"Here, social relations are strengthened, even though most inhabitants live alone. This way new communities can grow on the basis of a strong feeling of membership and sustainable commitment."

The buildings in the Boase development utilize solar-collecting facades, and the common areas lie under a "solar membrane" that both collects energy and invites natural lighting inside. Modular walls permit indoor-outdoor living and abundant natural ventilation. The walkability of the area fosters a healthy lifestyle for its residents, in close proximity to the surrounding city.

"The settlement is a process where the results of research on sustainability are tested. In time the settlement will grow and spread over the ground like the branches of a tree. Its growth is not planned because it is a result of various conditions; the cleaning of the soil, the growth of the plants and the surrounding buildings."

At this point, the Boase project is in concept stages, though several full-scale prototypes have been built. It's a great model for the possibilities of merging smart urban planning, environmental renewal, and green design. Hopefully, Studio Force4 will hit all the green lights they need to bring the idea to life.

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Comments

the link to the Boase concept in the first para didnt work for me, but i found it by going to www.force4.dk > projects > Boase concept.

cool post sarah, thanks!


Posted by: sp0078 on 27 Feb 06

Thanks for the heads-up! I fixed the link.


Posted by: Sarah on 27 Feb 06

I was just wondering, how space efficient are these prefabricated houses, and how much does it cost to implement the entire process from planting the trees to constructing the houses?

It would be wonderful if colleges would use this idea for dormitories.


Posted by: Benjamin Farahmand on 27 Feb 06

I just linked this in my blog. Thanks!


Posted by: Eric on 27 Feb 06

I'd heard about Boase concept earlier also but I got to know about its history and some more information here.


Posted by: emma on 28 Feb 06

I think that this is THE future, or, that it must be, or we will not survive as a healthilly balance species. I was reading The Forest People by Colin Turnbull, thinking about how we are reliant on the vegetation, without it, nothing we eat can eat, and nothing we eat of it, will be around. If we destroy this with our footprints, then we are slowly killing the earth. What if, like Buddha every step we took enriched the earth? This is what we as a human species must come to realize is important. I also think living on the ocean is a good thing if we are living and not leeching.


Posted by: DPWarch on 28 Feb 06

I have a question-maybe it's a stupid one. If there are buildings above the trees-how are the plants that are under the buildings getting enough sunlight to continue to survive? I'm sure they have a plan for this-I was just curious.


Posted by: Corona Sherona on 28 Feb 06

awesome stuff.. i just linked to my blog too :)

I think that using this idea would be interesting for dorms, but ultimately a failure. the Trend (at least up here in the North) is to cram as many students as possible in a basic stackable shape. the boase concept, although an experience in and of itself, would not be cost-effective, nor space efficient enough for universities to implement.


Posted by: Paul on 28 Feb 06

I think that using this idea would be interesting for dorms, but ultimately a failure. the Trend (at least up here in the North) is to cram as many students as possible in a basic stackable shape. the boase concept, although an experience in and of itself, would not be cost-effective, nor space efficient enough for universities to implement.

The Boase concept may not scale up to a State university-level student housing challenge, but it could certainly be used for small liberal arts colleges with up to 3,000 or 4,000 students. These schools are always looking for ways to draw talent away from the Diploma Mills; a housing concept like this would have almost certainly pulled me away from USC to just about any school in the country. Seriously.


Posted by: Yasonyacky on 28 Feb 06



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