THE WETLAND RESEARCH NETWORK
DESIGN BRIEF + CONCEPT
The site located in Thunderbolt, GA is in the midst of a salt marsh. According to site analysis a dedicated research and restoration center would be the best way to promote environmental awareness in the greater Thunderbolt and Savannah areas. Monitoring and conserving the coastal wetland should be a priority, as rising sea levels caused by global climate change, threaten the erasure of coastal wetland marshes. This center would aim to benefit the whole surrounding ecosystem, and become a hub for community engagement, education, and awareness of the surrounding environment.
The environment is central to the project and seeks to become symbiotic with its surroundings while minimizing long-term impact on the immediate ecosystem by aiming to be reversible when the structure is no longer needed. The main focus of the research, events, and education occurring in the center directly connects and interacts with the immediate environmental context.
The structure of the building is also a direct response to nature as it is inspired by the reeds in which The Wetland Research Complex embeds itself. The intertwining and interconnecting reed structure allow for a variety of animals to thrive in the marsh conditions; fish, birds, and bugs alike all have a symbiotic relationship with the reeds and grasses that make up a salt marsh. This relationship inspired the structure of The Wetland Research Complex; the design mimics reeds in its aesthetics and organization and creates a superstructure that provides shelter and support for the inhabitants of the complex.
TRIANGULAR MODULAR STRUCTURE
The resulting structural system follows a triangular grid which minimizes the number of piles needed to support the complex, thus reducing the impact the complex has on the site and consequently the marsh ecosystem. The triangular roofs of the superstructure were inspired by the vast horizontal datum of the marsh. The roofs aim to follow the natural flow and transition of the landscape ranging from trees to water to marsh. This undulation and transition between all these things allow The Wetland Research Complex to merge with the landscape and not disrupt the natural beauty of its surrounding context.
The Wetland Research Complex is a design resulting from extensive site and contextual research that puts the wellbeing of the environment (and the marsh which it inhabits) first. The complex aims to build a symbiotic and beneficial relationship with the marsh by implementing sustainable techniques. The whole complex is designed to be off the grid, while still allowing for the research and habitation of the residents and students it accommodates.
RESEARCH LABORATORIES + CLASSROOMS
RESTROOMS AND STUDENT ACCOMODATIONS
THE WETLAND RESEARCH NETWORK
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