Educational Estuary

This scheme engages the oil industry, leveraging its infrastructure for educational infrastructure that proactively monitors and mitigates the environmental ramifications of the logistical port. The growth of the oil industry has incited several specialized educational programs and collaborations between universities and private companies. Environmental scientists are in growing demand in Brazil, as they are typically involved in the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements. If environmental education, linked to the academy, could be tied to the private oil industry, a relationship that leverages the oil industry for the protection of the environment and innovation in environmental technologies could be formed. The Educational Estuary sets up a framework for sustainable use of the site after the oil industry seizes to be economically profitable. With such a high population of environmental scientists and engineers involved in the industry, this new landscape becomes a teaching laboratory for environmental monitoring, testing, and developing new technologies. This fits within the regional programmatic strategy, as Campos already is one of the educational centers of Brazil.

Educational Estuary decentralizes the program into groups that share similar contamination levels. By separating the program into a series of islands, each part of the complex can be addressed in a precise manner in regard to environmental leaching. These islands set up a pattern based on different types of water — unbiodegradable water, industrial biodegradable water, and domestic water. Each type is addressed by a differing form of remediation — holding areas for phytoremediation, a network of wetlands, and a moat condition for slow release. This effectively forms an archipelago condition, with interdependent islands each containing a unique use and identity. This scheme embraces sprawl as a manner to integrate and distribute the complex into the surrounding landscape. As such, it is capable of calibrating environmental strategies, education, and monitoring — making the port a test site for practical learning.

Project Designers: Xin Zhang, Elease Samms, Felema Yemane
Project Advisor: Neeraj Bhatia
Cornell University, School of Architecture
2012