Project Name: Towards the Metamorphosis of a Landfill: Transforming Tripoli’s Polluting Backyard into a Life-Engineered Momentum
Student Name: Mohamad Alamin Younis
Awards: Honorable Mention -- Non-Architecture Award for Unbuilt Urban Projects | 1st Prize -- Sustainable Architecture by Archiol | Honorable Mention -- Architecture Thesis of the Decade (2011-2021) by Artuminate | Top 20 Tamayouz Excellence Award for International Graduation Projects 2022 | Shortlisted Entry -- Archue for the 2nd International Architecture Drawing Competition
Excerpt:‘Towards the Metamorphosis of a Landfill: Transforming Tripoli’s Polluting Backyard into a Life-Engineered Momentum’ is an architecture thesis by Mohamad Alamin Younis from The Jamal Abed Faculty of Architecture – AZM University, that explores the role of architecture in transforming people’s view on backyards and making them focal points for environmental awareness. The proposal’s goal is to offer design methodologies that add sustainable value to the built environment while taking into account environmental constraints facing the waste management sector and the infrastructure it requires.
Introduction: Are people genuinely aware of the catastrophic effects the mountains of waste, which are quickly expanding, have on the natural and built environments? One can see how unsustainable this is for the built environment considering how waste is separated, collected, and then disposed of. The majority of cities in the world operate according to a linear model: an input or supply flow—whether it be energy, water, people, food, vehicles, or material—is processed and consumed, producing an output flow of sewage, garbage, waste, and pollution.
As a result of such an unsustainable operation, each city must designate a “backyard” where its waste can be dumped inaccessibly. In most cities, when the public is completely absent in these highly industrial sectors, the impact of such a message is felt at the social and urban levels. It is a given that when the public gets cut off from the waste management industry, people are less likely to be aware of their anthropogenic actions. This project explores the role of architecture in transforming people’s view on backyards and making them focal points for environmental awareness.
The waterlogged landfill in Tripoli has been selected as the intervention’s location. This backyard, which is located near the polluted city river’s delta, includes a centralised sewage treatment facility, a wholesale vegetable market, and a municipal slaughterhouse, in addition to a 60,000-square-metre waste landfill with a 3,000,000-cubic-metre volume.
Today, Tripoli is compelled to find a solution for the pollution and seriously unhealthy environment that have affected the entire city, as well as to respond to pressures from population and urban growth by “unlocking” the surrounding 5% of the city’s undeveloped vacant area and regaining essential public access to a significant natural asset: the waterfront.
Various structural and environmental changes take place at the waterfront of Tripoli as the garbage disposal and flow systems undergo a 7-year metamorphosis. These seven years were estimated by an interview with Prof. Mervat El-Hoz and research on previous cases in Lebanon. Some examples are the landfills in Normandy, Bourj Hammoud, and Saida. Given that unsustainable methods like incineration and open burning are used to remove dumps, Normandy’s Reclamation project involved treating the landfill material and recovering the suitable material as a marketable development land that doesn’t endanger human health, public welfare, or the environment. Around 2.5 million m3 were estimated to be at a depth of -18 m below sea level.
Bourj Hammoud’s construction process is based on the simple “cut and fill” concept; it entails tearing down the old waste mountain and dispersing it into the sea to progress the land reclamation. The strategy for trash collection at Tripoli’s saturated dump is the same as at Bourj Hammoud’s dumpsite: land reclamation by enlarging the port’s landfill. This is because Tripoli’s saturated dump is also close to the port, which is facing an expansion, particularly after the port of Beirut was bombed on August 4th.
How may architecture alter how people perceive backyards and make them a focus for environmental awareness? This question is addressed in the project by dealing with three dimensions. The suggested program’s urban integration into the parcel makes up the first dimension. The project consists of four components: a park, solid waste management machines, a proposed research centre, and a visitor centre. The architectural representation of the visitor center’s path, which rewires the public’s flow to all activities of the project, stands out as the key element of this urban plan.
From the start to the end, this path is essential for raising awareness. In other words, visitors can see the waste management process in action as they walk through the project, from trash segregation at the sorting plant to waste disposal in the park’s inaccessible areas. The significance of discarding waste in the park once it has been rendered inert is to immerse people in a natural setting that is shrinking with time. This shows how unsustainable waste management methods and human activities are limiting the availability of green areas.
The dump is totally filled with waste strata that are 4 metres high every 5 years, so the green park is constantly compelled to grow vertically. The park level will rise 28 metres above street level in around 40 years. When compared to the saturation dump, the park’s growth rate is lowered by 50% by using a more sustainable waste flow chart.
Conclusion: The proposal offers design methods with a sustainable value addition to the built environment, taking into account the environmental constraints of the waste management industry and the facilities it needs. The term “sustainable” is used in a broad sense that includes people’s awareness of and commitment to sustainability as well as the ecological performance of buildings. Architecture is therefore predicated on the ability of design (urban and architectural included) to address ill-defined or “wicked” problems similar to the ones at hand when educating the public to interfere in the workflow of the waste sector.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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