Make Me A Mountain proposes to uses New York City’s urban cracks to insert a folded zoo trying to expand vertically on existing buildings’ facades. The specificity of animals (bats) is bringing wildness in the city in a non-naive trendy sustainability but rather in a more interesting renouncement to a certain degree of control. The zoo is no longer a animal exhibitionist cage but rather an animal dwelling within the city.
I am also particularly interested by the process of construction of this mountain (see picture above):
Structural shells are prefabricated from injection moulded 80% recycled Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP). The entire Bathouse is made from an arrangement of just 5 modular GRP panels.
2_PUBLIC OCCUPIED VOLUMES
Prefabricated shells are assembled on site with minimal foundations forming the core public
spaces. These volumes form a closed public circulation route independant of the bat occupied spaces. This intertwining provides complex and intricate bat viewing possibilities without ever
intruding directly into habitat. Set into the GRP shells are clear acrylic windows arranged at points where the bat caves intersect.
3_WATER PIPE AND MESH REINFORCEMENT
Steel piping acts as both concrete reinforcement bars and conduits channelling water from the lagoon through the building around the public and Bat spaces. The water is heated and pumped using solar power to regulate internal temperature for the bats. Some pipes also seep water into the porous material feeding plant species growing in, over and around the Bathouse. The steel mesh surrounds of the bat caves are tied to this structure.
4_COMPOSITE PEAT-MOSS SHOTCRETE APPLICATION
The Bathouse form emerges from the liberal spray application of a Peat-moss and Shotcrete mix. The material, a variation on the “Hypertufa’ commonly used by home gardeners, is lightweight and highly porous. It binds the other elements together, the whole structure performing with the same properties as reinforced concrete.
5_PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE GROWS
The material functions as an organic water reservoir which over time, like an artificial reef, develops its own micro ecology on the building’s surface. It permits airflow to root structures and
supports the growth of plant and insect life providing a key food source for the bats. The structure can be added to indefinitely using the same application method so as to adapt to the occupation preferences of the bats.
6_ORGANIC BREAKDOWN OF MATERIALS
At the end of its useful life the composite Shotcrete mix can be broken down and used as a soil conditioner closing the ecosystem loop. The injection-moulded shells can be re-used in other locations and for other programmes.
boards are high resolution so you can click on them and explore the project
The D3 Competition Exhibition will be visible (after a very poor situation in NY City College) in Cleveland in fews days. See here for more information…
“Make Me A Mountain!” By Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today.
Project team: Andrew D’Occhio and James Pierre Du-Plessis.