Penelope Vasques Hadjilyra

INVERTED UTOPIA: LOST THINGS IN THE SAND

Mali, Araoune

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Crisis: Environmental/ Social
Terrain: Desertification/ Desert/ Dry
Program: Habitation/ Cultivation/ Library/ Mosque/ Follies

Project Description:
The small town of Araouane, Mali is a crossroads of the Sahara. Existing water wells and 200-year old ruins, buried in the sand for decades, inspire the proposal’s inverted vertical structures. By seeking to preserve the archaeological treasures of the village, “Inverted Utopia” creates a new living underground network that protects itself from catastrophic sand storms. The project weaves together tea-houses, a library, communal rooms, provide spaces, within a complex underground labyrinth that provides new space for once lost historical artifacts. New technological advances in sand solidification are utilized to support the inverted vertical structures, connecting spaces and generating organic forms that transform the orthogonal existing structures into a unique playful and atmospheric environment. The structure grants water access to the inhabitants deep within the sand. This allows for underground gardening areas, with punctured light beams generating photosynthesis deep underground.

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META| DAPTIC PROJECT:

South America, Peru, Quillabamba City

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Crisis: Environmental / Social

Project Description:
Natural Disasters have proven their power over humans. This proposal addresses the challenges faced by areas that are in constant risk of flooding. Instead of focusing on “prevention” and “avoidance” of the crisis, the project substitutes terms such as “adaption” and :adjustment”. It is not an option to turn away from the area of crisis as it evolves. Each site’s challenges are considered an opportunity for innovation: a motivation for people to take matters into their own hands. For Quilabamba, the program becomes the breeding ground of the required elements which are celebrated through seasonal cycles, The project manufactures a structure that at time of crisis can perform as a generator of a safe environment for the maintenance of the social structure.

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