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City Oasis

3rd Year Undergraduate Project (2014)

City Oasis evokes memes of spatial integration. Ceiling, floors, and walls all flow seamlessly into each other. Interior and exterior spaces are blended and in this way the building, park, bridge, and canal all work together to help weave arrays of nondescript condominium blocks into a unified and vibrant community.


The building function also depends on strict spatial segregation. Specifically, two vascular systems isolate currents within the building that, while distinct, are also interdependent. One system directs running water from the adjacent canal through the building: the other channels people. The water system deploys pumps driven by turbines leveraging the energy of the current flowing through the canal. The hydronic system provides natural cooling when water is syphoned from the bottom of the waterway. The building is constructed from a tree sap based resin used with natural hemp fibers to create large sections of translucent walls. 

Water is carried through clear pipes that transform the space into a dancing gallery of diffused light. Algae is cultivated by the building managers who are able to nurture relationships and act as gardeners of the pipes. The building’s colour can be altered due to different algal blooms and even bioluminescent algae can make the building glow at night. This algae gardening helps capture carbon and improve the air quality for the community. 

The center is programmatically set up to be based around exercise. It houses a courtyard soccer pitch, a kayaking club along the canal, a gym, basketball court, and the continuous running track. This running path allows runners to stay indoors, away from the poor air quality that exists today.  Residents of the community coming together in exercise embodies the social and recreational energy that helps entrench the center with the surrounding community. It fosters the rejuvenation and heath of the dense surrounding urban environment.

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