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City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic


Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb


City Acupuncture


Oris - House of Architecture




City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport


Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture

Work title: RE-NATURE

During the period which industrial output accounted for nearly half of China’s GDP, those resource-based cities experienced a fast economic boom which brought them national reputation. However, nowadays, those cities are facing the loss of vitality and a sharp reduction in population due to environmental pollution and resource depletion. Our proposal picks three typical resource-based cities in northeast China, which are Fushun, Panjin and Fuxin. For abandoned industrial districts and vacant housing in these three resource-exhausted cities, finding a new way of building removal instead of the traditional ones (which are usually harmful to the environment and sometimes cost much more than the construction process) has becoming an urgent need. We see the word ‘removal’ as a process that brings the land back to the origin. Regarding the inestimable power of the plants’ root, we take it as a tool to achieve building ‘degradation’. The new method is to make the building wrapped by plants, firstly it will be covered by the greeneries, and gradually restore its primitive environment – the nature. The first step is to classified the buildings that need to be demolished into 3 types, some of them will keep the main frame of the building while tearing down the walls and windows, which we call it monumental removal; some will be converted to a medium for urban farming, and residents can grow different kinds of crops in prefabricated medium, which we call it the functional removal; and the last one is completely removal, an approach that can be apply on those damaged buildings. For monumental removal, a method applied on those industrial plant which has historical value, we choose the vegetation whose roots can seed fertility into a device, the device will be inserted into a non-load-bearing walls; For functional removal, such as that used in vacant housing, we will convert the current living or industrial production functions into vegetation production, as for this method, we put vegetation seeds that have lighter root into the device, such as vegetables or fruits, etc.; For completely removal, we choose plants that have deeper and stronger roots, whose seeds will be placed in a tube-shaped device filled with nutrient solution, the device will then be inserted into the weak point of the frame structure, such as beam transfer nodes, etc. During the procedure of building ‘degradation’, residents are free to access to the contract right of those vegetation, the vegetation will grow through their self-maintenance, and buildings experience the process of removal simultaneously. Eventually, the grown plants will be sold, display in exhibition or consumed by the residents themselves, and part of the sale profit will be put in to the building removal process. In this long process of building removal, it is no longer a relentless building destruction process of human beings, but to giving new life to the building by bringing it back to its origin. To put it in a more specified scenario, we select the cooling tower in an industrial district for monumental removal. We will insert the tube-shaped device into the wall and use the high-strength fiber rope to link device with the plug-in structure. The vegetation grow on the device will be cultivated by the residents who has contract right to raise and sell them. The growing roots will gradually break into the wall and then crack the wall on surface, finally the wall collapse, forming a root-brick package hanging on the plug-in structure. In this case, buildings that once been the largest source of CO2 emission, could become a three-dimensional forest that absorb CO2 and convert it into O2. Moreover, the root-brick package will be transport to market for sale or warehouse for exhibition according to the residents’ will. The past cooling tower will soon stimulate the conversion process of this district from industrial plant back to natural environment.
Work details
Application Number 0000602632
Author WANG, YI , China
Coauthors CHEN, KAI , China
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