Metabolic Infrastructure

design studio project \ ‘Flat Studio’ \ University of British Columbia \ 2013
shortlist, Fentress Global Challenge 2013: Upcycling Infrastructure \ 2014 collaborator: Justin Neenan \ advisor: Blair Satterfield

Situated in the contested post-industrial waterfront area of Vancouver’s Northeast False Creek, Metabolic Infrastructure is centred on the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts—two vehicular-pedestrian overpasses likely to be demolished in the near future. City planners consider the viaducts as physical and psychological barriers between neighbourhoods, expensive to maintain and obstructing development. The proposal presents an alternative to this view, upcycling the structures as the base for a new set of infrastructures integrated into the physical, ecological and social fabric of the city. The resulting space incorporates a constructed wetland managing water runoff, an aquaponic agricultural installation, tidal energy generation, elevated park space and a wetland spa. Both grounded in the site’s history and physical conditions, and engaged in speculation about its future, the systems proposed in Metabolic Infrastructure are purposefully represented as simultaneously tangible and blurred.