This project is inspired by the mangroves, these plants developed skills necessary to grow in brackish water and on unfit ground. The basis of our concept is the nature’s ability to adapt to the most extraordinary conditions present on Earth, finding ways to live even in the most difficult contexts and transforming threats into resources.
Our project developed from two directions: the protection from water of existing buildings and the creation of a new neighborhood designed to grow literaly in the water. This is the starting point for a project that arises as a potential model for Boston’s future redevelopment, where natural elements and human artefacts marry to ensure a better quality of life and a coexistence, no more conflictual but symbiotic, between ecosystem and cities.
At first a new road network was algorithmically determined, by the principle of the shortest distance, connected to the existing urban fabric. Those new roads were then raised from the ground to ensure that the lines of communication would always be protected from the water. The set of roadbeds and bridges that constitute the road network, is thought to be realized by the growing large-scale-3D-printing technology, which allows the reduction of costs and construction times up to 50% and the use of environmentally friendly and recycled materials.
Water has free access to the entire area of the project, thus creating a Fort Point Channel inlet in which, through the phytoremediation, a qualitative improvement of the ecosystem is achieved, with positive effects for the flora, wildlife and humans. The streets of this new district are designed primarily for pedestrians and cyclists, then for public transport and only at last for the motorized mobility. In the world, more and more urban plans are eliminating the vehicular traffic from cities. The Boston’s Mangrove provides parking garages in the perimeter points of access, but no parking spaces in the whole area; it is wasted space that is better allocated for urban parks.
A large green artery run through the whole area from east to west, mitigating climatic effects on buildings and giving the city a great new space for outdoor activities. Arising from the water are new buildings designed for energetic self-sufficiency, the highest environmental performances and they were algorithmically designed to achieve maximum solar radiation on roofs. The roofs are not only used to produce energy but also as additional green spaces where relax or grow an urban vegetable garden.
The differentiation of functions is the first step to create neighborhoods alive and healthy, working as autonomous biospheres, but also to serve the rest of the city. For these reasons the Boston’s Mangrove wants to offer services for all citizens: housing, offices, shops, co-working spaces, fab-lab, gyms, libraries, kindergartens, schools, clinics, and more so that it can be experienced during the arc of the whole day, enjoyed by all Bostonians becoming a model for future development.
Leonardo Roli, Architect
Stefano Montanari, Architect
Andrea Valcavi, Architect
Roberto Bertozzi, Architect