C O N S E R V I N G G R OW T H
SolimĂľes Tributary 600km west of Manaus Amazonas state Brazil, Bruno Kelly
Johan Steenberg Thesis Program Tutor: Thomas Chevalier BĂ¸jstrup Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture IBT, Architecture and Extreme Environments Spring 2016
architectural potentials of biological adaptation
e y d
e n g
06 | PROLOGUE agenda program status
14 | ECOSYSTEM SERVICES global regional climatic projection urbanisation
26 | ADAPTED GROWTH field work morphology analogies discourse timescales
40 | CONTEXT site t1 transitional space response extent urban growth global conservation
58 | METHODOLOGY submission
62 | APPENDIX
Invasive. Spontaneous growth in an abandoned building within the city limits of Manaus, Brazil.
^ Rainforest near Balbina in the Brasilian Amazon | v Airconditioning in Manaus
Artificial and natural conditioning. As the forest boundary is pushed back by the urban growth of Manaus, residents rely on artificial airconditioning. Meanwhile, natural processes cool the rainforest through evaporative cooling.
AGE N DA 9
ARCHITECTURE & EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS This thesis programme is situated within the master course Architecture and Extreme Environments. A course that through a site-specific approach, aim to respond to present and future global challenges through research by design and direct on-site involvement in the form of active expeditions to remote world locations. In 2016, focused on the city of Manaus in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon. We mediate our presence in our environment via technology, often disregarding the environmental and cultural impact. It is the intention to investigate design potential in working with technology, not only as a performance orientated design parameter, but also as a process charged with aesthetic potential and cultural implications. Questioning the conventional perception of technology as being fundamentally human-made and artificial, this project examines the possibility of natural technology. Highly sophisticated biological processes that are part of our everyday life, but become disassociated and neglected as the norm rather than the extraordinary. Natural systems as growing technology that can aid the expanding growth of the city.
< city limits of Manaus in the Amazon | > traffic congestion in the streets of the city center, Durango Duarte
P RO G RA M 11
A BUS T E R M I N A L A N D B I O D I V E RSI TY CONS E R VATOR Y The proposal aims on reinvigorating the public bus Terminal 1 located in Manaus, Brazil, by introducing a biodiversity conservatory. The scope of the hybrid program being to collect, archive and cultivate endangered plant material of the Amazon region. Utilizing both the position, use of the terminal and the research base of the conservation unit, to inform programmatic transitions accross societal strata, becoming a potential material- and knowledge hub with a large demographic reach. The program is the base of an architectural investigation of ecosystems as being both mutually beneficial to an urban environment, and as an architectural discourse informing space, extent and interaction through time. WH Y As economic and demographic growth in Manaus and effects of climate change is increasing, the natural resources of the Amazon are dissipating. Causing both long and short term harm to the ecosystem services, as well as the resource of genetic diversity. Conserving and actively adapting the immense genepool of the Amazon, is a viable response to the ongoing mass extinction of biodiversity. At the same time exposing potentials of natural growth in mitigating the urban heat island effect of Manaus. HOW The design is informed through a programmatic investigation of natural analogies, building a vocabulary that percieves users, involved organisms and structure as part of a holistic system. Potentially activating and extending into the urban context, meeting demands of demographic growth and an expanding biological archive. The building itself would be forming biological ecosystems, studied and collected, while holding a central position, that informs the public of the contemporary research taking place. Not centered around its own academic environment, but affecting and establishing a public dialogue to the significance of ecological relationships.
^ Deforestation in the Brasilian Amazon, NASA | v Coal mining at mine 7 on Svalbard
“As a matter of fact humans now affect every square meter of the earth. There’s no place no matter how remote: you can go to the north pole; it’s been affected by human activity, you can go through the depths of impenetrable jungle; and it’s been affected by human activity. We’re radically shaping the world, and the question is: what’s our responsibility?“ - Holly Doremus, Environmental Law professor, Berkeley, California
PRECONCEPTIONS We live in the Holocene geological era, defined by the dominance of the human species on the planet. At the same time we are part of the Anthropocene mass extinction event; a measurable global decrease in biodiversity caused by humans. The dieback of genetic resources in the Amazon is being considered a possible singularity event, irreversible, even with reduced carbon emission or not. This has architectural implications; as resources become sparse, innovative sollutions are required in accomodating an increasing anthropological footprint, that feeds back into the built environment. One that inherits the notion of change, and temporal adaptability in an effort to accomodate a growing and changing city, without compromising biological resources. This project is not about saving the rainforest. However it deals with considering contemporary ecological changes, and how architecture can engage in a dialogue of the Amazon region as well as on a global scale. The 2 Contemporary Conservation Strategies 1 Passive approach There are currently 2 predominant conservation strategies. The first being the classic idea of the pristine wilderness, and how to get nature back to some kind of pre-human condition. The problem being the fact that our dominant role, affects every ecosystem on the planet. And that reinstating species is done by choice. 2 Proactive approach The second and more extreme agenda, recognize that weâ€™re radically shaping the planet, and that we might as well get good at it. As ecosystems disappear in the changing climate, we need to create new ones based on our best science and knowledge. Weâ€™re going to have to make some very difficult decisions, in picking what species survive and what species don't.
The framework of this investigation operates in the proactive agenda. Contemplating on how we as species radically change the environment. And how we can use our influence in informing an architectural discourse, that does not regard nature as a passive aesthetic, but as a region-specific technological potential.
1 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
It appears there is a paradox in how we percieve nature, and especially in the importance or insignificance of conservation. One oppinion is that the economic value of turning forest into aggricultural fields is essential for economic growth in Brazil, however the growth of economics does not count for the services the forest actually provides, and what is lost when the forest shrinks. My point being that a conventional understanding of the forest, as something that is just there, does not cover the actual potential of it. This first section of the program sets the stage of current global developments in determining the future of the Amazon region, regarding climate and biodiversity. With a status on the climatic difference between the city of Manaus and the surrounding rainforest. The Amazon region can be understood as one cohesive ecosystem, removing forest in one part - and it affects the entire system. To emphazise the value of biological ecosystems, I start by asking an arbitrary question:
how much is the rainforest wor th?
- The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity 2010
data: < Pavan Sukhdev et al. | > R. Warren et al.
G LO BA L 19
... is the current economic loss for society due to declining biodiversity in tropical rainforests on a global scale, of which approximately 40% exist as part of the Amazon ecology. The number covers all services provided for free by the ecosystem, compared to what it would cost alternately. Ecosystem services include: Carbon storage & sequestration, pharmaceutical resource potentials, agricultural irrigation, pollination, nutrient cycling, climate stabilisation, sustainable logging profits, non-timber products, water detoxification & ecoturism. This figure indicates not only the rate at which the biological resources are depleting, but a comprehensible economic potential as an alternative discourse to resource exploitation. That has been ambiguous until extensive studies initiated as The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity initiative by the European Comission in 2007.
continued carbon emission
5% annually reduced carbon emission
PROJECTED RELATIVE PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY BY 2080 COMPARED TO 2013 RICHNESS
< Aerial Rivers of the Amazon. Transpiration over the Amazon Basin, Jeff Schmaltz Data| Rhett Butler
RE G IO N A L 21
XL ECOSYSTEM The Amazon rainforest is home to about 20% of known terrestrial species, and is considered the most biodiverse region in the world. Often described as the lungs of the world, which has been traced to mis-interpretation, as it relates to the carbon stored in the rainforest biomass, and not a passive conversion of greenhouse gasses. The rainforest is however, more accurately described as the sweat gland of the world. Water vapour released by the forest as evaporation, accounts for 7 trillion tons of water per year. In essence, the forest functions as a giant air conditioner that keeps the regional climate humid and rainy by cycling atmospheric water in the form of aerial rivers to the southeast and center of the South American continent. Impact of deforestation Widespread deforestation in the Amazon area, is not just influencing biodiversity, by the km² converted into agricultural monocultures, but by reducing the capacity of the aerial veins, impacting ecosystems far up the rainforest basin. The magnitude of influence varies across studies, the risk of an irreversible singularity event present. AGGREGATED FOREST IN THE THEBRAZILIAN BRAZILIAN AMAZON AGGREGATED FORESTLOSS LOSS IN AMAZON 450,000 400,000 350,000
250,000 200,000 35,000
DEFORESTATIONIN IN THE THE BRAZILIAN DEFORESTATION BRAZILIANAMAZON AMAZON
^ Daniel Beltra | v Carlos GarcÃa Rawlins Data: Philip B. Duffy et al.
PERCENTAGE OF AMAZON AFFECTED BY SEVERE WETNESS
PERCENTAGE OF AMAZON AFFECTED BY SEVERE DROUGHT
DROUGHT OF 2010
EROSION CAUSED BY ABNORMAL RAINFALL
Data: Rong Fu et al. C LIM ATIC P ROJ E CTIO N 23
FORECAST: EXTREMELY WET & EXTREMELY DRY 70ยบW
VEGETATION INDEX CHANGE DURING DROUGHTS
Even with ceased deforestation, and a 5% anually reduced global carbon emission, the frequency of abnormal climatic events in the Amazon appear to escalate according to intensive research on the subject. The differentiation of seasons wil rapidly increase, boding a prolonged dry season with increasingly limited rainfall, and a wet season of localized intense rainfall. Both scenarios having impact on the vegetation, ecosystems and biodiversity of the region, with some species left that are adapted to the climatic change, and some species going extinct. The genetic basis lost forever. One part human deforestation, another part global climatic change; both decreasing biodiversity. which eventually limits the ecosystem services, which includes potentials for adapted species, beneficial in the built environment.
Ri o Neg ro
R io A ma z o n a s
Rio Sol i m Ãµ e s Mapbox
Eduardo Gomes Airport
Ponta Pelada Airport
URBA N ISATIO N 25
MANAUS HEAT ISLAND The City of Manaus within the Amazon rainforest, in the state of Amazonas, where Rio Negro and Rio Solimoes meet to form the Amazon river. The urbanization process produces significant changes in land surface and atmospheric properties, such as the energy partitioning between urban and adjacent areas, thereby creating a new urban climate, which can be understood as a local inconsistency of the regional climate. Data collected from two different sites, in an urban area and from a region of forest about 30 km from the city, for the period of 2000–2008, show that the urban environment creates a local increase in temperature and a decrease in relative humidity. The annual average observed between the urban and forest sites can reach differences of temperatures around 3 °C and relative humidity close to 1.7%. The urban area tends to heat first and more slowly and cool down later and faster than the forest. This heat differential is the product of an in the city missing biological cycle, that acts as a source of cooling primarily through evaporation. The high thermal mass of the city is mitigated by imported airconditioning systems primarily of Asian origin, that are poorly adapted to the hot-humid climate. eventually posing a health risk, as biological growth forms in the filters, releasing unhealthy pathogens.
28.00˚ 27.00˚ 26.00˚ 25.00˚ 24.00˚ 23.00˚ 22.00˚ 0
INMET PP FOREST ABOVE FOREST BELOW
time of day
Exploring the notion of biologies invading the urban environment with unhealthy consequences, I examined alternative cooling methods in the previous semester. In my investigation it turned out that the same invasive biology that make airconditioning systems hazardous, is in the forest lowering the ambient temperature, effectively creating microclimates. Establishing a measureable understanding of plants being profoundly sophisticated. In simple terms, no power required. Water, Minerals; and some plant species operate as a miniature airconditioner, through evaporative cooling. This section unravels the narrative of adapted growth: Potentials of direct utilization, and how architecture can not just benefit technically, but as analogical parallels to ecosystems on a programmatic scale. Starting with an on-site study of directly utilizing the microclimates of epiphytic growth.
Symbiosis. An integral part of the 3rd semester study, was the ability to provide necessary conditions for epiphytic plants to survive in the hot urban climate, and flexibility in terms of contextual deployment. A symbiosis of maintaining a biology that provides local cooling. Here in a suburban environment close to the center of Manaus. December 2015 at the end of the dry season.
C A P ILL A RY FA B R IC
EP IPHY T IC GROW T H
F IE LD WO RK 31
BIOLOGICAL CONDITIONING This study is part of an individual research experiment, based on the idea of utilizing natural technology on a 1:1 scale. It exist not as a mimic of natural conditions, but as a direct use of biological processes. Besides the comfort and performance driven aspects, the device exposes parameters of plant and material interaction, and a contextual possibility of using the high amount of nutrients in the rainforest rainwater. A ceramic rainwater container acted as a water buffer using capillary action (water movement through a material) and evaporation to passively accumulate nutrients, that are distributed to the plants. It was designed as its own autonomous system; self sustaining, with low maintenance, as natural growth we live besides with mutual benefit. Seeking an alternative and more direct relationship to the forest that exist beyond the city limits. The notion that some plants would die, some compete and others bring unanticipated passengers and growth into the system, was considered a value. It would develop its own time, rhythm and biological composition, and ultimately initiated the direction of this program. As a continuation of spatial and technological adaptability, in the relationship between the natural and built environment. refer to appendix p 66 for details on the investigation I
Impossible. The pressure required for drawing water more than 10 meters from the roots of a tree to the leaves, exceeds that of a perfect vacuum. The evolutionary adaptation, and sophisticated growing pattern is not possible to replicate by contemporary technology.
M O RP HO LO GY 33
MORPHOLOGY OF PLANTS The program examines the use of plants as an active parameter, one that both confines, provides and distorts. Something that resides, invades and contributes to the perception of the architectural proposal, not to be potted in the windowsill. It is on the basis of the investigation, that vegetation is rapidly responsive in what first appear to be chaotic morphology, but when observed, and recorded holds its own regime of systematic and predictable patterns. A distinction of aerial and clasping roots in epiphytic plants seemingly similar, as they grow; radically different. One accelerates, twist and grasps when encountering a surface, the other grows into the air, maximizing surface as it retracts water vapour from the humid environment. Growth is percieved as being precious in the urban environment, a motivator for architectural extensions and a medium of generating spaces. Canopies of Cattleya labiata sown and grown as shading, continuos skin using the leather-like leaves of Ecclinusa Guianensis, and the air-cleaning capabilities of Tillandsia Usneoides, mitigate the pollution of the terminal. Cultivation In the process of accomodating growth within a structural environment, questions of structural constraints become apparent. The extent of the grown is not predetermined, and as such challenge the space it inherits. The conservation and research aspects of the program deals with the living. Organisms grown and cultivated on an experimental scale, allowing the building to form sequences of climatic conditions, endemic to the group of species it deals with. Both out of necessity to maintain, and as a possibility for programmatic differentiation. 1 MONTH
growth of Tillandisa Usneoides
Adapted. The epiphyte group Tillandsia, has adapted to the seasonal changes of the rainforest as well as fluxtuations of humidity, by growing in an intertwined pattern, with short needle-like leaves covered in silver grey scales (Trichome) to maximize surface area. It is being used in studies accumulating pollution particles.
LTI VAT IO
User Axis. The hybrid is percieved as a hollistic ecosystem, where the positioning and use of all functions contribute both directly and indirectly to the perception and possibilities of the program in its entirety.
A N A LO G IE S 35
The interaction of users, space and organisms are in the design examined with reference to how ecosystems are percieved. Ecosystem: a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.
We say the city is growing. Derived from biological terms, it forms an analogy describing the behaviour of the system. It is the intent of this program, to investigate such programmatic analogies, in order to build a vocabulary that situates connections of involved players, as parts of a larger holistic ecosystem. An awareness where transparency is not the only indication of mutual dependence. Closing in on the relationship of researcher and passenger, in gradients going from the professional privacy of the laboratory, to the public transit at the platform. Considering how protection of species in the archive, is a high security endeavour that requires limited access. But at the same time feeds back as the genetic basis of research, open to public cultivation spaces and experimental application affecting the transit situation, through monitored climatic feedback. Establishing an awareness of biological processes, and a sense of wonder of being part of a larger ecological system. PROGRAMMATIC ANALOGIES
Percieving the complexities of urban infrastructural growth as an ecological framework of compeding systems. A sense of hierachy is introduced in determining the importance of scalar connections.
On a user-scale, aspects of interdependencies within an ecosystem, inform the transitory spaces. A holistic notion across researchers, passengers and vendors, determine possible connections and exchanges.
Technology not as a static manifestation of knowledge, but as experimental organs within the structural environment. Monitored and responsive.
The extent of the building body, defined through time rather than a static moment, allowing expansion as necessary. A continous and adaptable geometry responsive to the innate biological and societal ecosystem.
36 Janine Benyus
Material Aesthetics Informing aesthetic design principles Conservation
Conserving biology for the future
Taking design advice from biology
Artificialy changing Agriculture Resource harvesting
S. P. Carrol
Carole Collet Hanna Moore
Discourse. The program situates itself within the framework of derived discourses. All originating in an intersection of design and biology. With an emphasis on natural technologies, as a potential of the geographical context. refer to appendix p. 78 for additional citations, observations and reflections
^ cooling plant wall, Rahul Mehrotra | v a confrontation, Agnes Denes | vv glass house 1951-2015, Lina Bo Bardi D ISC O URSE 37
Statement. Outside the realm of performance, interaction of the grown and architecture has been used to emphasize a statement. Being Denes occupation of a building site in downtown Manhattan, or Lina Bo Bardis house in Sao Paulo; with the intention of only being fully realized, when the forest grew around it 50 years after construction.
M I LL E NNI UM 1000 years duration
OLDEST TREE IN THE AMAZON 1500 years
Y E AR
12 months cycle
DRY SEASO AGRICULTURAL SEASON
24 hours rhytm
RESEARCHER VENDOR TRANSPIRATION
Growth is not static; in the program not percieved through a single moment in time. Introducing an awareness of temporal aspects, and especially the relative durations and cycles embedded in the program, connections are made through time to the relevant temporal components. On a large timescale, conceptual contradictions become visible; the general life expectancy is a fourth of just 10 cm of diameter growth of some rainforest tree species. Questioning the relevance and consensus of construction. It is the emphasis of this program, that it deals with issues that are beyond the scope of a single lifetime. There's an at the same time poetic and necessary gesture in Planting the building, and allowing it to change, renew adapt over time, as seasons change across the year, and passengers rapidly fluctuate on a daily schedule.
TIM E SCA LE S 39 2400
2016 MANAUS FREE TRADE ZONE GLOBAL SEED VAULT
10CM Ă˜ GROWTH OF RAINFOREST TREE LIFE EXPECTANCY PH.D
SUN median GROWTH median RAIN median
SIESTA GROWTH & RESPIRATION
artificial speciation of agricultural wheat 100 natural speciation in Goatsbeards wildflowers 500
At the same time the program recognize arbitrary timescales of evolutionary change. A timescale measured not in seconds or years, but in generations. With reference to how humans have rapidly accelerated the evolutionary timescales of agricultural crops for millenia, and emerging sciences are identifying and stimulating climate change resistant genetic traits. Because we are now in a period of accelerated environ- mental change, evolutionary biologists have an unprecedented opportunity to study evolutionary processes and their influence on ecological processes. Likewise, evolutionary biology has an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to other areas of basic and applied biology. Palumbi 2001; Stockwell, Hendry & Kinnison 2003; Strauss et al.
Contextualizing the narrative, Manaus in the middle of the Amazon: As the city growth accelerates in European typologies, the natural growth is alienated. Flooding erodes the sidewalks, the intense solar radiation of the dry season, forcing people under the remaining trees and canopies. On the main infrastructural artery a public bus terminal is located. Unable to adapt to the changing context, it is left in disrepair and underdimensioned. The bus network is what connects people across the city, provides options and mobility. In a city without trains or metrosystems, it is imperative for the remaining services being able to adapt and respond. The context corresponds to the proposed site of the project, as well as a larger contextual scale, and holds references to societal complexities as part of the program. The site is located at the edge of the historical city center, on the main road connecting northern and southern Amazonas, to the city center, at bus Terminal 1.
Av. Constantino Nery
Rua Ferreira Pena
Av. Leonardo Malcher
TERMINAL 1 The proposal site is located at the main bus terminal in Manaus, on Avenida Constantino Nery north west of the Centro district. It is a municipal terminal operated by the Union of the State of Amazonas Passenger Transport Companies (Sinetram). The terminal is used as a transitional hub, at the edge of the historical city core, situated on the main road connecting the center to the other districs of the city. A 500 meter stretch surrounded by 2 lane roads; the original steel structure was constructed in the mid 1980's, and later extended by a temporary canopy, as demand for more lines converging on the location increased. So far havenâ€™t been able to date the exact construction of the terminal, however the addition to the north along with the growth of the city, suggest the terminal itself, along with the infrastructure in the city center is insufficient to support a poppulation of 2 million. The site is confined to the area on Av. Constantino Nery, between Av. Leonardo Malcher to the south, and Av. Alvaro Maier to the north. A stretch of 700m on a slight slope. The residential area surrounding the terminal is of no noticable significance, and a larger activation of the area could be accounted for.
Henrique Oliveira Salgado, 44, said he use the T1 several times a week. For him, one of the main problems of the terminal is the lack of lighting. “It is pitch black at night. It’s tricky because you do not know who is good and who wants to steal. We need poles with lamps, and more light“ Mary Maquiné, 54, said the problem that bothers is the lack of security. “I had to have more control over who enters and leaves the terminal. I take the bus here, when I come back from class, and it is quite dangerous. I’m always afraid of being robbed, because my daughter has been assaulted in the terminal, “he said.
Disconnected. The terminals introverted structure excludes the city. For security reasons makeshift shading is applied to the fence, providing disconnected glimpses into the terminal. The split platform becoming a hazard.
Route. Passengers crowding under trees and canopies, due to the intense heat of the sun. Transition. The people utilizing the transitional spaces of the public transportation system in Manaus, extends to both passengers, waiting for the bus, as well as vendors who operate under permission. The disrepair and limited space available, neglects the changes of both an increasing population, and people making a livelihood of the transition time. Disregarding the aspect of permanence occuring in a transitional space.
TRA N SITIO N A L SPAC E 49
Urban sprawl and population growth in Manaus make public transport an essential public service. Its importance is essential in solving distance problems in meeting the mobility needs of people and is therefore indispensable for progress and social life in contemporary cities. But this is a sector that requires constant improvement, since the efficiency of this system depends on the extent to all areas of the city, and especially its ability to account for the poorest, which are enlarged by increasing speed. - MagalhĂŁes
RE SP O N SE 55
Necessity. The exponential growth of the population, and the increased number of bus lines required to facilitate the horisontal urban growth of the city, has embedded in the use of the terminal. Here, one of the many signs hanging in Terminal 1; printed at a time to accomodate a set amount of lines, over time becoming distorted by necessity as needs change.
to northern Amazonas
to southern Amazonas
Bus lines Converging on Terminal 1 Historical City Core Highways 1km
E XTE N T 53
EXTENT OF DISTRIBUTION NETWORK As the site is situated at the main bus terminal and infrastructural intersection in Manaus, the program acknowledge a potential in the demographic reach it encompasses. As the hybrid program introduces means of mitigating the urban heat island locally, there's a potential in distributing the natural technology, as well as biodiversity across the city, using a crowd sourced approach. Where the average passenger is offered species beneficial to the context of his house, thereby providing an economic and environmental opportunity in sparing excessive use of airconditioning and resources. This narrative is considered secondary, and a trajectory inherited in the hybrid program. It is not the scope of this program to define an infrastructural strategy of Manaus. Although it can be argued that the city requires secondary means of transportation, this program emphasize the reach and flexibility of the bus network, as well as the underdimensioned and neglected state of its structures.
percentage of Terminal 1 users 0
1 2-4 5+
women men 16-25
26-30 31-36 37+
GDP US $Bn
ECONOMIC GROWTH TERMINAL 1
MANAUS FREE TRADE ZONE
1.802.014 1.4030796 1.010.544 642.492
HORISONTAL URBAN GROWTH
URBA N GROW TH 55
CONSEQUENCE OF EXPLOITATION Seeing the reality of the historical drought of 2015, and its effect on natural habitats in the Amazon, were a profound contrast to the climatic investigations made prior to arrival. In media coverage, the drought was framed through implications in the metropolitan areas, that draw its resources from the region. Water shortage in the coastal states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais were emphasized. Past reports by scientists, environmentalists and technical experts were overridden by real estate developers and industrial and agricultural interests. - Marussia Whately, the Guardian
There is a bond between the urban and natural ecologies, however that bond appear to be percieved strongest in terms of resource management, and as a one-directional pipeline from nature to the cities. The dependency on natural resources, is obstructed by extensive exploitation. And as demographic and economic growth increases the decrease of the natural doesn't get attention until it interferes directly with our cultural system; limiting our possibilities as water stops running from the faucet.
< Neil Palmer | > Mari Tefre
NYCNPCI New York
Millenium Seed Bank CIAT
Camino Verde Peru
Gene Banks. Beans at the CIAT gene bank in Colombia, which has sent its latest consignments of seeds for conservation at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway. Meanwhile ICARDA in Syria depletes due to unrest. Seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan destroyed.
GLO BA L C O N SE RVATIO N 57
Global Seed Vault Svalbard
A GLOBAL CONNECTION Since the mid 20th century, initiatives to conserve regional biological resources have emerged. Most noticeably the Global Seed Vault on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard finished in 2008. Established as a means to save agricultural species that are susceptible to climate change. A future prooving in the event of species extinction. Historically the biodiversity of the amazon has been regarded an excess, and indeginous tribes have been treating it with little regard, as there simple was so much of it. However that perception is changing, as we are seeing the effects global culture has on the ecosystems. With an estimated 40% of the biodiversity in the region recorded, there’s great potential in the biological resources to be discovered.
AVRDC Navdania India
NSW Seedbank New South Wales
“The ultimate measure of a convergent bioregional approach, if it is to influence the mainstream, will be its contribution toward regenerating local cultures, ecosystems, and resources into the indefinite future.“ Robert L. Thayer
ANALOGICAL VOCABULARY Morphology An essential part of the programs methodology, lies in building a vocabulary as a means of understanding a permeating sense of the living. In determining how the project situates itself and responds to the context, the structural morphology corresponds to a framework of biological terms: - branching - root - clasping - node - leaf
- thigmotropism - stem - bark
Traits Through the initial studies and field work, possibilities of integrating biological growth in structural elements become apparent. Not just as green spots on the facade, but as an integral permeating part of the structures DNA. Different plants with different properties defining the programatic boundaries regarding: - Shading - Permeability - Air cleaning - Sheltering - Direction Biosphere The project will be regarded as itâ€™s own symbiotic ecosystem, where terms of the forest biology will inform the scale, relation and program. Defining spatial areas as anologies of inherited species habitat: - Emergent - Canopy - Understory - Grove - River - creek - tributary
M E THO D O LO GY 59
METHODOLOGY In the effort of pushing the boundaries of the project, the notion of ecosystems is investigated. The scope being to inform decision making through development, as to reflect ecological perspectives in cultivation and transitional spaces. Range Architectural drawing and conceptual modeling will be used in establishing spatial and programmatic relations, with the intent of enhancing the projects potentials in moments of serendipity. Through a parallel approach fluctuating within multiple fields of study, a broader understanding of the projects capacity is sought to be exposed. These studies could be related to direct investigations of biology, as well as material studies, data collection,1:1 experimentation and conceptual drawing/modeling. Vocabulary With reference to the programmatic analogies on p 35, it is the intention to use an analogical understanding of the programs main areas, in building a vocabulary as a driver for the projects synergies and spatial properties. See the initiated vocabulary on p. 60.
TENTATIVE TIME SCHEDULE
26 may 2016
19 february 2016
SUBM ISSIO N 61
1:1000 The program will explore the proposalâ€™s situation in the urban context of Manaus, investigating public accessibility, visual connectivity as well as discussing positioning in enriching the area on a local scale. The program will assess opportunities to activate spatial and climatic dynamics, articulating site flows and potentials of the selected site. 1:200/50 The majority of the design process will alternate between representational scales of 1:200 and 1:50, focusing on spatial speculations, composition and programmatic overlap. This could consist of material studies at 1:1, detail studies at 1:20 or conceptual and abstract representations at no defined scale. Sequence The transformative aspect of time is regarded as a possible factor in unfolding the project. The immediate potential of time will be investigated in drawings and diagrams, both to inform narrative and to challenge its relevance as a tool in the development process. Logs The data collection and citical assessments will be collected in 2 running logs, describing the research foundation, discourses and eventual moments of serendipity. These logs act as a reference throughout the process, keeping track of the projects development, as well as providing a guideline of the critical decisions.
64 | KEY DEFINITIONS 66 | DEVICE 74 | RAIN CHEMISTRY 76 | SECONDARY PLANT GROUPS 78 | REFERENCES 82 | BIBLIOGRAPHY
BIODIVERSITY The variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems
- Article 2, convention on Biological Diversity (cBD)
The term covers all the variety of life that can be found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro- organisms), the diversity of communities that they form and the habitats in which they live. It encompasses three levels: ecosystem diversity (i.e. variety of ecosystems); species diversity (i.e. variety of different species); and genetic diversity (i.e. variety of genes within species).
ECOSYSTEM â€œa dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unitâ€? - Article 2, convention on Biological Diversity (cBD)
Each ecosystem contains complex relationships between living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components (resources), sunlight, air, water, minerals and nutrients. The quantity (e.g. biomass and productivity), quality and diversity of species (richness, rarity, and uniqueness) each play an important role in a given ecosystem. The functioning of an ecosystem often hinges on a number of species or groups of species that perform certain functions e.g. pollination, grazing, predation, nitrogen fixing etc.
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Ecosystem services refer to the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems
- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005
These include: provisioning services (e.g. food, fibre, fuel, water); regulating services (benefits obtained from ecosystem processes that regulate e.g. climate, floods, disease, waste and water quality); cultural services (e.g. recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, tourism, spiritual and ethical values); and supporting services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services (e.g. soil formation, photosynthesis, nutrient cycling). The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity TEEB for National and International Policy Makers
K E Y D E F IN ITIO N S 65
The National Institute of Amazonian Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da AmazĂ´nia or INPA) is a public educational and research institution headquartered in Manaus, Brazil. It was founded in 1952, with the purpose of furthering scientific knowledge of the Brazilian Amazon Region. Most of INPA's research focuses on tropical forest management, ecology, molecular ecology, zoology, botany, tropical agriculture and tropical pisciculture. The institution also maintains important vertebrate, invertebrate, and vascular plants research collections.
INPA. While in Manaus, meetings and interviews were conducted at the INPA compound north east of the city. To the left; the herbarium, and seed collection, although not preserved for cultivation. To the right, researchers have discovered a new species of epiphyte on an expedition into the northern Amazon. With the intention to record it, and plant it on the premises.
Buffer 2 io ter
erio Int Concentration Gradient
100% 100% 98% 98% 98% 98%
DEVICE INTRODUCTION A device is a designed, constructed and deployed instrument of investigation, being an essential part of the Architecture & Extreme Environments masters course. In the preliminary studies, I was imitating the evaporative cooling and capillary action effects discovered in trees. Through a moment of serendipity, a nutrient-rich residue was building up on the experiments, unintentionally. This changed the investigation into using and providing for actual plants instead of biomimicry.
D E VIC E 67
HC O 3
68 ORIGIN OF NUTRIENTS
Forest Fires / Volcanic Eruptions
NH₄ K P Ca MG
Foldable Aluminum Frame
Ceramic Nutrient Buffer
Alloy no. 5052
Water retaining Capillary Fabric
COLLECTED EPIPHYTIC GROWTH
interior DECREASED TEMPERATURE DECREASED HUMIDITY exterior HIGH TEMPERATURE HIGH HUMIDITY
D E VIC E 69
110 mm 900 mm
70 ceramic tube
spacers and hose connecters
D E VIC E 71
D E VIC E 73
RAINWATER COMPOSITION IN MANAUS
NUTRIENTS NH4+ K+ Ca2+ NO3PO43-
H pH NH4 Na K Ca Mg Cl SO4 NO3 PO4 total P ÂµM
17.0 4.7 3.0 2.4 0.8 2.4 0.9 4.6 2.0 4.2 0.03 0.25
31.7 4.5 7.4 3.4 1.2 2.4 0.6 4.5 2.8 6.4 0.06 0.47
11.2 5.0 1.2 2.1 0.7 2.4 1.0 4.6 1.6 3.3 0.02 0.15
Williams et al. 1997
RA IN C HE M ISTRY 75
RAINFALL The fact that aerosols above the Amazon rainforest are nearly completely of biogenic origin tells the scientists a lot about the ecosystem. â€œThe Brazilian rainforest during the rainy season can be described as a bioreactorâ€?, says Ulrich PĂśschl. Water vapour rises from the forest, condensating on aerosols. These are then transported up to a height of 18 kilometres. Water droplets and ice crystals grow in the clouds until they fall to the ground again as precipitation. Due to the high levels of rain and erosion in the Brazilian Amazon, the plants have developed a water and nutrient cycle, that is independent from the soil. Molecules necessary for metabolism and growth are emitted as aerosol particles into the atmosphere, where water released through transpiration, condense around the particles, generating perspiration. This process essentially makes all of the amazon one cohesive hydroponic system, allowing life to exist in all areas of the region, as well as causing widespread implications when interfered by intense localised deforestation.
takes no nutrients from the host tree itself
ii tin an
The Bromeliads are a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species native mainly to the tropical Americas. The most well known species of the family is the pineapple (Ananas comosus). Many bromeliads are able to store water in a structure formed by their tightly-overlapping leaf bases. However, the family is diverse enough to include the tank bromeliads, grey-leaved epiphyte Tillandsia species that gather water only from leaf structures called trichomes, and a large number of desert-dwelling succulents. A bromeliad can serve as a
- Cardinal Air pla lata nt icu c as
, as trapped water within the leaves provides the base for a complex array of insects and microorganisms.
Aech me aC h
D P H I LO
and relies on nutrients from the air, falling rain, and the compost that lies on tree branches. Hemiepiphytes differ slightly since they may grow from a seed dropped on the ground and then climb the host or grow downwards from the host until their roots reach the soil.
Gong ora Tr i
i nae Lin
a ine gu n a
Philo den dr o
There are well over 15,000 epiphytes in the tropical realm alone, and over 30,000 worldwide as well as numerous uncataloged species. The term epiphyte describes a plant which, like a parasite, grows on a host, but unlike a parasite,
Maxi lla ria s
Tilla nds ia F
Dryn ari aR ig
s - Red Fung ineu i gu n Sa
yster Fungi s- O atu e r st
Amazonian fungi come in a wide range of colors, sizes and textures. Although many fungi are edible, in general native Amazonians do not eat fungi. This may be because of the risk of accidentally eating a poisonous species, with potentially fatal consequences. Despite the ecological importance of fungi, they are in much need of more detailed scientific investigation.
urkey Tail r-T olo c i rs
STRANGLERS Perhaps the most famous hemiepiphyte is the strangler fig tree which starts life as a tiny seed in the canopy of a host tree. The roots grow down to the forest floor where they take root and begin to take nutrients from the soil. Gradually the roots wrap around the host tree, widen, and slowly form a lattice-work that surrounds the host's trunk. The fig's crown grows foliage which soon overshadows the tree. Eventually,
ler Fig ang Str sa
Ficus Pe rtu
Pleu rot us O
releasing nutrients for use by live plants
Tram ete sV e
Although fungi are not plants, they play just as important a part in the rainforest's ecology. Fungi break down dead plant matter,
Pycn opo ru s
SE C O N DA RY P LA N T G RO UP S 77
the host tree dies
leaving the fig with a hollow trunk. Figs are often the only tree species remaining after forest clearing, since their knotted and twisted wood is ignored by loggers. very common, the only restriction to its spreading, is the symbiotic relationship to the gall wasp.
H E MI
< pneuma, Neri Oxman | > chitin based 3d printing, MIT
v Tree Circus, Axel Erlandson | vv veg house, Peter Cook RE F E RE N C E S 79
MATERIAL ECOLOGY A field that is currently being investigated is ideas of growth through computer assisted design tools in architecture. Ideas of how homogenous structures form through derived biological concepts of: emergence, fluctuations, symmetry breaking, dissipation, instability, criticality, interdependence, redundancy, adaptation, complexity and hierarchy, to assist technological production methods involving 3d printing as a base. The technology allows the structure to be a seamlessly constructed medium, taking cues from biologies rather than the conventional assembly. Although the architectural body acts as a biological skin, homogenous in material but responsive to context, adapting to wind, temperature and direction, the process of 3d printing has its limits. The design is only growing inside the computer, once printed it is as static as the paradigm it was responding to. Once again the intention of ecology, symbiosis, interdependency appear unaffected, as the aspect of time appear unresolved. This approach replicates notions of growth, becoming a structural biomimicry solidified in plastic. When the material used is questioned, a stronger connection of ecology is created. Not printed in plastics, but of biodegradeable polymer. The structure is now recyclable, it will interact with microorganisms, decompose and over time disappear following the rules of ecology. The timespan has been shortened, and is now something we can percieve. Compared to plastics, the time it takes to degrade and the toxins released in the process are fundamental to our perception of ecology. The energy going into production seemingly lost, and without the ability to reconstruct itself, being biodegradeable does not mean ecological. It seems truly ecological architecture would have to be grown or replicate itself.
CONFORMED GROWTH The practice of growing architecture, of percieving the building almost as an agricutural project is not a new idea. Speculative projects have been conceived through the last century, that aim to integrate natural growth as the base of conception. Inhabited spaces grown over years, to facilitate common building typologies. Trunks steered to become the walls of a house, grown along scaffoldings, cultivated and adjusted growth patterns to assimilate our requirements of an inhabitable structure. By intention interdependent, in execution subjected to artificial regulation with an obscure distance to being part of an actual ecosystem. Fixated and controlled by the static scaffolding, requiring maintenance that does not allow biological independence, in a way that informs of its nature and potential. Left unattended, the plants would eventually shatter the boundaries of the system, and act according to instructions given its genome. Examples of free flowing natural gardens, where the unpredictability through time used as facilitator, appear much more successful.
< qamar, Neri Oxman | > biolace, Carole Collet
ARTIFICIAL ECOLOGIES An emerging science is the study of synthetic biology. The study of how organisms can be altered to produce materials and accomodate processes that are beneficial to our society. An interdisciplinary field, involving technologically advanced procedures of altering genes and enzymes of cellular organisms, along with observing and adjusting bacterial cultures, have recently proven succesful in creating active materials and substances, that have not been available before. Plants with inherited growth patterns, that grow rootstructures similar to textiles, utilizing mixtures of bacteria to create targeted biopolymers through photosynthesis, and plants producing pharmaceutical substances, to name a few. Aimed at proposing sustainable sollutions for the estimated critical challenges of the future. A prospect that investigates how adaptation of our materials and resources can interact with an ungoing ecosystem, optimizing, selfregulating, evolving. This approach touches on the fundamental basics of evolution, and has ethical complications as well. We start interfering with aspects we potentially cannot control, reading and rewriting gene codes, designing the ecosystem from the bottom up. Selfreplicating systems, that reduce even living organisms to a piece of code. Without going into a discussion of ethics and context, the idea and potential is fascinating. Although a designed ecosystem, it starts to discuss the posibilities of being mutually beneficial, as a hollistic system, that integrates design and intention with a prospect of evolution. Although the science is relatively new, and the studies ungoing. thereâ€™s a fundamental notion Iâ€™d like to further investigate - The notion of a structural system having DNA. The critical aspects regarding green architecture that Iâ€™ve made through this section, is not regarding the intention of the solutions, but rather a notion that the potential of ecological aspects in architecture could be pushed further in informing the architecture.
data: P. Shahmohamadi RE F E RE N C E S 81
HEAT ISLAND MITIGATION The regional thermal inconsistency of the Manaus heat island, is not one of a kind. In Singapore preventive measures and laterations of the urban fabric have been issued to mitigate the discomfort. Alterations of surface area, improper urban planning, air pollution, etc. are causing this increasingly growing phenomenon. Using high albedo materials and pavements, green vegetation and green roofs, urban planning, pervious pavements, shade trees and establishment of water bodies in the urban areas are the potential UHI mitigation strategies. Green vegetation seems to be the most effective measure, including natural ventilation.
The Future Climate of Amazonia, Scientific Assessment Report
Transporte Coletivo em Manaus
Antonio Donato Nobre
CCST-INPE, INPA and ARA 2014
Current Mass Extinction Ashraf M. T. Elewa Geology Department, Faculty of Science,Minia University 2006
Luiz Carlos FranĂ§a
Low carbon districts: Mitigating the urban heat island with green roof infrastructure Steffen Lehrman
City, Culture and Society 2014
Idosa morre atropelada por Ă´nibus no Terminal 1 em Manaus (Senior hit by bus at Terminal 1 in Manaus dies)
The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolution Change
W.W. Morton 2001
Evolution on ecological time-scales
LifePlace: Bioregional Thought and Practice
S. P. Carroll, A. P. Hendry, D. N. Reznick And C. W. Fox
Robert L. Thayer Jr.
Rapid adaptation and conservation
Introduction to tropical Meteorology
Craig A Stockwell, Mary V Ashley
Dr. Arlene Laing comet 2011
Projections of future meteorological drought and wet periods in the Amazon
How much is the amazon worth? The State of Knowledge Concerning the Value of Preserving Amazon Rainforests
Department of Entomology and Center for Population Biology 2007
Department of biological sciences, North Dakota State University 2003
Philip Duffy, Paulo M Brando, Paulo M Brando, Gregory P. Asner, Gregory P. Asner, Christopher B Field, Christopher B Field PNAS 2015
University of California Press 2003
Peter H. May, Britaldo Silveira Soares-Filho and Jon Strand World Bank 2013
BIBLIO GRA P HY 83
Insecurity at Terminal 1 worsens says users of public transport in Manaus Perla Soares Acritica 2014
Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity Peg Rawes Routledge 2013
The Fate of the Amazonian Areas of Endemism Da Silva et al
Conservation Biology 2005
The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers Sukhdev, P., Wittmer, H., and Miller, D., D. Helm and C. Hepburn (eds) Oxford University Press 2014
Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss R. Warren et al
Nature Climate Change 3, 678â€“682 2013
Increased dry-season length over southern Amazonia in recent decades and its implication for future climate projection Rong Fua, Lei Yin, Wenhong Li, Paola A. Arias, Robert E. Dickinson, Lei Huang, Sudip Chakraborty, Katia Fernandes, Brant Liebmann, Rosie Fisher, and Ranga B. Myneni PNAS 2013
Reducing urban heat island effects: A systematic review to achieve energy consumption balance P. Shahmohamadi, A. I. Che-Ani1, A. Ramly, K. N. A. Maulud and M. F. I. Mohd-Nor Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia 2010
18 February 2016
Thesis Program Johan Steenberg 4767 Architecture & Extreme Environments Spring 2016