As global regions undergo structural and demographic shifts, agritourism and algae farms have huge potential, but models need testing and feedback from people, so that prototypes can be optimally identified as multi-use educational resources related to their living context. 'You don't have so many choices at the moment. There is a detachment of production from consumption, when even recycling can be fun', say ecoLogicStudio. Their Algae Farm for the Swedish Municipality of Simrishamn demonstrates the interactive potentials for algae-related urban activities and architectural prototypes. Here on the Ostersjiön region of Sweden on the Baltic Sea a decaying fishing industry and ageing local population 'calls for the introduction of a new type of economic and urban system.'
These local groups are denoted on the map by different coloured dots, but also, depending on the identity of their application, by cycles of application. For example, ecology, energy, food, water and microclimate, is the cycle of action, for new symbiotic algae and seafood/fish farms conceived as Crane Greenhouses. Designed for the underused ports and coastal areas, these crane-like structures hold canopies made of ETFE like petals with small bags that function as adaptive greenhouses capable of supporting production over 12 months a year.
Our masterplan is an interface. By involving small producers in the region it becomes participatory.
The region with its many lush river valleys and estuaries lends itself to the essential art of water phitodepuration. But the Filtering Garden plays not just this role but also is a place dispensing spa treatments, undertaking biological monitoring and organic food production and consumption. The old clusters of farms in the regions are reimagined as hubs of high-tech algae farming infrastructures, an agri-town hosting production facilities, touristic activities and research centres for industrial algae products.
ecoLogic's integrative, interactive strategy creates vitalizing educational resources connected in a considered social and environment network. It avoids the hermeticism of a purely technical research centre, divorced from the rest of life. 'If you don't connect with the end user, it will end up just being a factory outside the town, they point out. 'There can be ways to work with nature to allow people to be involved—the process can be playful, not a bureaucratic way.'
ecoLogicStudio design team: Claudia Pasquero,Marco Poletto with Andrea Bugli, Silvia Ortu
Client: Marine Centrum Department, Simrishamn Municipality
Consultants: Catherine Legrand (biology and local bio-diversity), Fredrika Gullfot (biology and algae farming)
Interns for support in exhibition: Xenia Palelouglou, Manuele Gaioni, Kwanphil Cho
More information and video at ecoLogic.