2007, Rice University, School of Architecture
Microclimates within One Building
The botanical garden in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Ecuador, creates different microclimates for various plantation. This project aims to provide a self-sufficient system for the fundamental needs of vegetation. In other words the project works like an elevated sponge-like piece of earth. It's a machine that collects, contains and provides the needs of various plants - water, soil, sun, air,...
Providing water and humidity to a desired microclimate is the main challenge of the project, yet is the main generator. The designed microclimates derive from existing climate. Thus, the surface of the botanical garden, generated from a raindrop surface flow simulator collects water in the rain season and distributes that water throughout the year. The vertical and horizontal character gains importance in the project not only for water distribution but also for the other fundamentals such as light and air. The sponge character provides horizontal and vertical connections in the botanical garden, setting the relationship for at least ten different microclimates and transition zones.