Excerpt:Floating National Park on Wetlands is an Architecture Thesis by Guido Farabollini from Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo – UNL, Argentina, which explores the concept of floating architecture to encourage the change in relationship between CONSTRUCTION and WATER. The goal is to dispel the notion that water is a threat to architecture, by proposing a design that can blend in with the surrounding environment with the use of practical building techniques.
Introduction: A floating architectural proposal to promote ecotourism was suggested for the “Islas de Santa Fe National Park”. This architecture thesis tends to suggest a structure that acts as a bridge between the water and the land, bringing the cycles of flooding and wetting of the wetlands into natural harmony. The placement of the buildings within the body of the lagoon and their morphological purity alludes to the water vegetation from these kinds of settings known as “Victoria Cruziana.” This design prompted a change in how CONSTRUCTION and WATER relate to one another.
The 4096-hectare “ISLAS DE SANTA FE NATIONAL PARK,” which is located in Santa Fe Province, Argentina, is made up of eight deltaic islands. “Islas de Santa Fe” became a national park in 2010, however it is now deficient in the infrastructure required to allow for public access. Its management is under the control of the “Pre Delta National Park,” which is located in Diamante City, Entre Rios Province. The idea outlining the establishment of the Park was developed in 2007 by the “Comisión pro parque y reserva natural.” It proposed protecting an area that is 40 times bigger than the one that is currently there. Even though the 160,000 anticipated hectares are not included in the statute of creation, the potential for future expansion has been recognised. The extended protected natural area is taken into consideration when developing the infrastructure for the project.
SITE LOCATION: El Grillo island The “El Grillo” Island was selected as an intervention site for the architecture thesis based on the analysis of the geomorphological unit and hydrodynamic operation. It is located around 25 miles from Santa Fe and Paraná and covers an area of about 210 hectares. The only way to get to the Park is by boat. One of the attractions for travellers on the fifty-minute sailing journey is the change from an urban to a natural world. Since this design is conscious of its surroundings, it can adjust to the wetland’s natural cycles. This creates the infrastructure for the tourism area, which comprises the excursion and recreation industries, camping, and general public visitation.
This architecture thesis focuses on two important design criteria that were drawn from the local natural environment and the ecotourism-oriented programme.
1-Floating architecture as a proposal for intervention in the natural landscape:
An architecture that can be adaptable to the environment is the primary strategy in light of the predictions of sea level rise as a result of global warming. The suggested construction method serves as a transition between the water and the land and naturalises the flood and low water cycles of the wetlands. Its ability to respond to flooding protects all types of investments, whether for public or private development.
The buildings’ aesthetics are inspired by fluttering aquatic plants found in the area, like the Irupé (Victoria Cruziana), which creates a pleasing equilibrium with the surroundings. Along with that, it improves the landscape’s features. Architecture coexists with nature and makes adjustments to it rather than imposing itself on it.
The concept of “the water as a threat” was transformed into “the water as an opportunity” by exploring an architecture that can adapt to the natural setting rather than modifying that environment to build conventionally. A reinforced concrete box with EPS blocks and an internal web of beams made up the flotation system. Metal walls, steel-framed floors, and metal beams and columns are suggested as lightweight building materials above the slab.
In order to minimise the environmental impact and take into account the natural context in which the proposal is positioned, rational building solutions were considered. Concrete floating bases were proven to have higher durability, stability, and reduced maintenance needs when compared to alternative materials. Each building also featured environmentally friendly technology, such as effluent treatment tanks, solar thermal tanks, water treatment systems, and solar energy generators.
2-Ecotourism as an instrument of environmental preservation:
When it comes to activity planning, ecotourism encourages environmental preservation. Education is a key element in combating the issue of climate change because it encourages low-impact interactions between tourists and nature that promote awareness and comprehension of the natural heritage via experience.
Collectively, Floating National Park on Wetlands attempts to dispel the notion that water is a threat to architecture, by proposing a design that can blend in with the surrounding environment with the use of practical building techniques.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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