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Proyecto A Post-Diluvian Future (Un Futuro Post Diluviano) Bangkok (Tailandia) - S+PBA (Songsuda Adhibai, Ponlawat Buasri y Taylor Lowe)

Ficha técnica
Proyecto: A Post-Diluvian Future (Un Futuro Post Diluviano)
Ubicación: Bangkok, Tailandia
Autores: S+PBA (Songsuda Adhibai, Ponlawat Buasri, Taylor Lowe)


English version

El estudio de arquitectura S+PBA con origen en Bangkok (Tailandia) exhibió su proyecto A Post-Diluvian Future (Un Futuro Post Diluviano) en la muestra Water: Curse or Blessing!? (Agua: ¿Maldición o bendición?).

Como una respuesta posible al problema del ascenso del nivel del mar y el rápido hundimiento de la ciudad de Bangkok, los arquitectos Songsuda Adhibai, Ponlawat Buasri y Taylor Lowe de S+PBA desarrollaron el proyecto A Post-Diluvian Future.

El mismo consiste en un prototipo de comunidad inspirada en antiguas tradiciones tailandesas de "acuatectura" adaptada a un entorno inundable y transformarlo en una Wetropolis contemporánea, sustentable y visualmente impactante.

A Post-Diluvian Future
(Un Futuro Post Diluviano)

Casi 300 años después de resucitar de entre los bancos pantanosos del Chao Phraya, pareciera que Bangkok volverá a sus orígenes acuáticos.

Cada año su población aumenta aproximadamente en 100,000 habitantes y la ciudad desciende 10 cm respecto al nivel del mar.

Nos enfrentamos entonces a un dilema post diluviano que afectará a muchas ciudades del mundo: ¿hundirse o nadar, huir o flotar?

Mientras que al mismo tiempo que la ciudad se hunde unos 10 cm, el nivel del mar asciende otros 40 cm, pareciera que el lugar más seguro para crear una nueva arquitectura se encuentra por encima del agua.

Se plantea diseñar en este sentido, adaptando el concepto de Metrópolis por el de Wetropolis y el de Arquitectura por Acuatectura.

Pensando en un futuro post diluviano se propone un prototipo de comunidad que transforma y moderniza los principios tradicionales de la acuatectura tailandesa en una Wetropolis contemporánea, sustentable y visualmente impactante.

Tomando como caso de estudio a la comunidad palafitica supra marina Koh Pan Yii (ubicada en el mar de Andaman al sur de Tailandia), que provee con éxito todas las funciones típicas de una comunidad urbana, tales como, escuelas, espacios públicos, hospitales, servicios públicos e industria, aunque estudiando el diseño para minimizar la huella o pisada en el agua.

Para más información se adjunta la memoria descriptiva completa en inglés.

English version

The Bangkok-based Architecture firm S+PBA has been invited to attend the exhibition Water-Curse or Blessing!? organized by Aedes East International Forum for Contemporary Architecture n.p.o. as part of the Asia Pacific Weeks 2011. The event will take place at Aedes Gallery in Berlin from the 9th to 21st September 2011.

As a possible response to the problem of the rising sea levels and the rapid sinking of the capital city of Bangkok, S+PBA will present its more recent project A Post Diluvian Future, a prototype community that takes its inspiration from Thailand’s centuries old traditions of floodconscious aquatecture and turn it into a contemporary sustainable and visually stunning Wetropolis.

A Post Diluvian Future is a project by Architects Songsuda Adhibai, Ponlawat Buasri and Taylor Lowe from S+PBA.

A Post-Diluvian Future
by S+PBA

While most of the world follows the standard from dust to dust, ashes to ashes cycle, Bangkok prefers something wetter: from water to water. Almost 300 years after rising from the marshy banks of the Chao Phraya, it appears Bangkok will return to its watery origins. A recent UN study estimates that much of the metropolitan area will need to be abandoned by the middle of the century.

Bangkok's population is growing by approximately 100,000 residents per year, just as the city itself is shrinking below sea level 4" per year. While most cities in this position could simply increase urban density by building up, this would only hasten Bangkok's subterranean slide. It is the blinding growth of Bangkok's built environment combined with the over-exhausted aquifers 2 m below the city surface that is causing the city's physical depression.

We are left then with a Post-Diluvian dilemma currently facing many world cities: do we sink or swim, flee or float?

With the city sinking 10 cm below a sea level that is rising by 40 cm annually, the safest place to create new architecture is above water. As it happens, Bangkok is surrounded by fields of water; brackish, polluted water remaining from an oversaturated shrimp farming industry whose very growth precipitated its own demise.

Erstwhile shrimp farmers, who can no longer sustain shrimp life in their polluted plots, are currently selling their water-fields to developers who bury the water in housing racts, or to the government, who hopes to restore the once thriving mangrove ecosystem.

While the government's aspirations would yield considerable environmental benefits to the metropolis, they cannot compete with the prices developers would pay for the equivalent water field. Developers, though paying the shrimp farmers slightly more, constitute an entirely negative environmental force by encouraging urban spread and commuting, by stifling the possibility for open space, and by simply burying brown-field environments with expensive flood-susceptible, cold weather foreign architecture.

Each party is thus engaged in a win-lose proposition: suburbs will impair government mangroves, water will submerge suburbs, and shrimp farmers will lose their livelihood. City dwellers, developers, shrimp farmers and the environment all lose more than they gain. This negative economy of loss occurs because Bangkok is still laboring under a very antediluvian mindset where flooding is considered a crisis and not a constant.

Bangkok has always been flooded and the latest apocalyptic predictions only suggest that flooding will return with increased consistency. Once the city is submarine, can we even call this phenomenon flooding? Flooding implies a passing phase rather than a fixed environment, and yet, at the current juncture, water is much more predictable than land.

In order to initiate a Post-Diluvian perspective that designs for water we must abandon the Metropolis in favor of the Wetropolis, and Architecture in favor of Aquatecture. Towards a Post Diluvian Future will propose a Post-Diluvian prototype community that transforms principles from Thailand's centuries old traditions of flood-conscious aquatecture into a contemporary, sustainable and visually stunning Wetropolis.

We will examine the entirely supra-marine stilt home community of Koh Pan Yii that hovers above the Andaman sea in Southern Thailand, successfully sustaining all of the typical functions of an urban community-schools, public spaces, hospitals, utilities, industry.

However, unlike Koh Pan Yii, we will provide a design solution that minimizes its foot print on the water, thereby enabling the continued cultivation of mangrove forests that will supply the community with carbon dioxide mitigating flora, with a natural effluent filtration system, with some of the only green open space in Bangkok and with moderate local shrimp farming.

Our goal is not to replace the Metropolis with the Wetropolis, but to exceed it we will design a community prototype elevated above the acres of underutilized shrimp farms that aligns the interests of shrimp farmers, urbanites, developers and the government by simultaneously sustaining mangrove restoration, modest shrimp farming, and a growing population in a sinking city that can thrive unaffected by the impending floods.

Blessing or Curse? Flooding, according to our community vision, will constitute a cathartic ablution, not a cataclysmic obliteration, of Bangkok. Water, detoxifying water, will wash away the 20th century's misguided substitutions of aircon for context, roads for canals, indoors for outdoors, anesthetic environments for aesthetic environments.

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