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Above & Below

The proposal aims to design for future potentials of the site and reimagine the sustainable ways of living of the Schaghticoke First Nations People projected far into the future. Each added structure aims to interact intelligently with the land, be it inserted within or standing aloft on stilts. In this way, each design has an intentional lifespan and flexibility given changing needs and conditions beyond the immediate present.

Program

The site’s unique wetland on its southern portion gave rise to how the site could become a potential living natural habitat for insect researchers and gatherers to perform studies and merge their prior knowledge and new learnings. The conference center and insect laboratory aid in this further collation, research and dissemination of knowledge. The camping pods also allow for long term stays and immersive field research.

Apart from education, the camping site also allows visitors to be completely immersed in the natural environment and remedy our ignorance and distancing for the land that provides for us. This was a point made by Schaghticoke First Nations, our project partners.

The Gateway house performs a visitor center role and is one of the first destinations for visitors before moving deeper into the site. Meandering around trees and standing above the ground on stilts, the gateway house grants visitors a connection to more than the forest floor but the trunk and under canopy levels of the forest. The respectful form and materiality of the Gateway House blends into the forest but allows for both outdoor and indoor activities.

The Main House, consisting primarily of a library, conference center, Schaghticoke First Nations archive and insect laboratory and archive is the only ‘long term’ structure specifically designed to have a more permanent footprint on site. Its southern facing facades aim to tap on the largely southern natural daylight yet provide ample shade and darkness for spaces requiring protection from sunlight.

In The Eyes Of The Animal

The proposal, in relation to insects, looked specifically at the Earthworm and the Bee as two organisms occupying differing stratas of the ecosphere. Recognising their importance in both subterranean and above ground regions, the buzztree proposal aims to reintroduce and maximise the potentials of bee and earthworm harvesting on site. In this way the land can naturally recover its lost native plants, animal and even insects species without unnatural chemicals and fertilisers.

Future

The earthworm aids in the aeration, loosening and nutrition enriching of soil. The bee performs by aiding in the pollination of plants. Despite seemingly short lived and aiding in a single form of activity, these activities have far reaching benefits when considering the overall food and soil cycles of the ecosphere and their many other dependents/inhabitants.

We envision insects as a unique way of moving into the future. By understanding, studying, harvesting and tapping onto their natural life processes, these little critters are instrumental in the longevity and wellbeing of not just human beings, but the Earth as a whole.