The Anthropocene Island project looks at Paljassaare, a former Soviet military base and now contaminated Peninsula in Tallinn. Site of landfills and a large waste water treatment plant, it has recently been designated as part of the European Natura 2000 network after the discovery of an important nesting site for migratory birds at its tip. The project speculates on how from such a controversial site the origin of a new notion of bio.City may emerge. The speculative proposal was the centrepiece of the Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017 an international event that ecoLogicStudio both curated and designed.
Anthropocene Island explores a design method operating at the convergence of disciplines including biology, computation and urban design. It explores a non-anthropocentric point of view on urbanity, based on the realisation that in our contemporary global world it is impossible to trace a clear distinction between nature and artifice, landscape and city, and ultimately between the biosphere and the urbansphere.
The Paljassare Peninsula is shaped by two forms of conflicting ideology, environmentalism that strives to maintain the site as it is in a state of illusionary wilderness, and commercial development that envision its transformation into a ideal green city. Despite appearances both ideals are deeply conservative.
Our proposal challenges such conservative sentiments with a proposal intended to promote a new urban morphogenesis whereby Tallinn’s urban wastewater infrastructure deeply affects the biotic substratum of the peninsula. The resulting “contamination” becomes a morphogenetic force, inducing an artificial hyper-articulation of the landscape and its living systems which will evolve into a digestive apparatus or membrane. Pathogens are re-metabolized, diluted or captured by augmented ecosystems; infrastructural networks thicken into filtering surfaces, which in turn fold into convoluted epidermis populated by a large amount of biochemical reactors.
The vision was articulated through a collective exhibition featuring specifically produced work from 11 teams of architects-researchers. The contributions were organized in order of resolution ranging from large scale simulations on the Baltic Sea, to 3D Printed Models of architectural scenarios, to 1:1 scale material prototypes.
TAB17 Website 2017.tab.ee
Curated by Claudia Pasquero
Exhibition design by ecoLogicStudio
Design Team: Marco Poletto, Claudia Pasquero, Matteo Pendenza, Terezia Greskova
bioTallinn Video Edited by Ivan Litvinenko
Resilient Topographies Video: Heather Barnett
Invited Architects, Artists and Scientists: Alisa Andrasek, Maj Plemenitas - Linkscale, Edouard Cabay - Appareil, Heather Barnett, Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto - ecoLogicStudio, Noumena, Studio Unseen, Urban Morphogenesis Lab - The Bartlett UCL, Rachel Armstrong - Newcastle University, BiotA Lab, IAAC
Organized by Estonian Centre of Architecture (MTÜ Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus)
Head of TAB Committee: Villem Tomiste
TAB 2017 Production Team: Maria Kristiin Peterson, Eve Arpo
TAB 2017 Catalogue and Webzine Editor: Lucy Bullivant