Oculus - Summer 2017 Design Awards - 50
ISLA RHIZOLITH | RHIZOLITH ISLAND
ISLA GRANDE, CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
Isla Rhizolith | Rhizolith Island is a test case for using high-performance, floating concrete structures to revitalize Columbia's urban
shorelines, which are vulnerable to ongoing flooding. A collaboration
between architects and the cement industry, this first floating concrete
element will be part of a larger breakwater to be deployed along the
shoreline of Cartagena. The sections will be placed at locations most
affected by depleting mangroves and the resulting annual flooding.
A lagoon in Isle Grande off the coast of Cartagena is the first site.
With diminishing mangrove forests no longer controlling sediment
and offering protection from erosion, the goal is to build a new shoreline infrastructure. These innovative concrete elements, when combined,
will function as a needed breakwater as well as public space for the city.
They will also act as an "incubator" for the revitalization and protection
of substrate for new mangroves. The porosity and form of the concrete
elements will dissipate the force of waves during a storm surge, and
protect the mangroves.
In this process, mangrove seeds are planted in split encasement tubes,
which protect and stabilize them. Anchored into the substrate of the
concrete elements, the tubes are designed with voids to allow the roots
of the maturing mangrove to grow and spread. The mangrove trees
continue to grow on the floating elements, as well as on shore. Newly
deposited sediment will accumulate and encourage further growth of
mangrove trees. Finally, the floating elements moor into the seabed and
further work as a type of rhizolith breakwater system to reduce additional erosion of the sediment. This system establishes a local restoration and expansion of the mangrove forest.
Aptum Architecture Design Team
Roger Hubeli, Julie Larsen, Nusrat Mim,
Aptum Architecture Design Team: Julie Larsen,
Roger Hubeli, CEMEX Research Group