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In Search of Slowness : a study slowness in relation to the built environment Jones, Robin Howard 2021-05

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iIn Search of SlownessROBIN HOWARD JONES‘Submitted in partial fulfillment of the require-ments for the degree of Master of Architecture in The Faculty of Graduate Studies, School of Archi-tecture and Landscape Architecture, Architecture Program’University of British ColumbiaMay 2021A STUDY SLOWNESS IN RELATION TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENTChair: Mari FujitaCommittee: Daniel Roehr, Ferdinand LudwigMentor(s) : AnnaLisa MeyboomGP2 Advisor:SALA Chair:ii iiiABSTRACTThis graduate project explores how the convergence between living architecture and the concept of slowness can lead to greater social connection within the affected communities. A structured network of slow public spaces is key for cities to effectively address the complex conditions that arise within an increasingly fast culture.In order to keep up with rising density cities need to increase the capacity of these public spaces.The primary methodology is the study of typological connections at multiple scales, materiality and architectural details through scholarly research and investigative analysis.iv vTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstractList of FiguresIntroductionPROJECT FRAMEWORKRationaleUrban HealthSlow MovementCittaslowLiving StructuresRoot BridgesRelevancyMaster PlanUrban ForestPlanningSpeciesProgramSiteVictoria, BCRock BayPioneer SquareChinatownPrecedentBaubotanikFab Tree HabTree HopperBirch Moss ChapelPROJECT DESIGNTradition vs SlowConceptSite AnalysisSoil GenerationProcessYear 0+Year 10+Year 25+Year 50+Year 75+END MATTERBibliographyAppendixiiivixi346781015162023242729313339434748525660697276808787899399105109113vi viiLIST OF FIGURESIntroductionPROJECT FRAMEWORKRationaleFigure 1: Walking Speeds In Relation To City Size.Figure 2: Living Root BridgesFigure 3: The Patient GardenerFigure 4: Jing Kieng Jri or Living Root BridgesFigure 5: BaubotanikFigure 6: A Young Aerial Root Tied BackFigure 7: Bird’s Eye ViewFigure 8: Longest Known Root Bridge - 50 MetersFigure 9: Growth Diagram of a Root Bridge.Figure 10: Growth Diagram of a Root Bridge. (cont.)RelevancyFigure 11: Map of the City of VictoriaFigure 12: Map of Municipal Parks in VictoriaFigure 13: Map of Playgrounds and SchoolsConsiderationFigure 14: Map Showing Site LocationsFigure 15: Hornbeam - Carpinus BetulusFigure 16: Birch - Betula PapyriferaFigure 17: Sycamore - Platanus OccidentalisFigure 18: Poplar - Populus TrichocarpaFigure 19: Treed Courtyard Spacial DiagramFigure 20: Program DiagramSiteFigure 21: Rock Bay Figure Ground StudyFigure 22: Plan of Lower Rock BayFigure 23: Aerial View of Lower Rock BayFigure 24: View from Pembroke St Looking North Figure 25: Aerial View of Lower Rock Bay Figure 26: View from Government St Looking West Figure 27: Pioneer Square Figure Ground StudyFigure 28: Plan of Pioneer Square Figure 29: View from Quadra St Looking South Figure 30: View from Meares St Looking SouthwestFigure 31: Chinatown Figure Ground StudyFigure 32: Plan of ChinatownFigure 33: View from Humbolt St. Looking South Figure 34: View from Fisgard St. Looking NorthPrecedentFigure 35: Plane Tree Cube - Steel Truss + Mature TreesFigure 36: Plane Tree Cube - View of Young StructureFigure 37: Plane Tree Cube - Ground-planFigure 38: Plane Tree Cube - Tree Growth DiagramFigure 39: Tree to Metal ConnectionFigure 40: Tree to Tree ConnectionFigure 41: Fab Tree Hab - Material and Structure GrowthFigure 42: Fab Tree Hab - View of ModelFigure 43: Fab Tree Hab - Growth TimelineFigure 44: Fab Tree Hab - Wall SectionFigure 45: Tree Hopper - Render View.........................5...............................................................9............................................................9.............................9...............................................................................9.........................................11.......................................................................11......................11..................................12..................13................................................17..................................19...................................19...........................................24........................................27..................................................27................................27.........................................27.................................28..............................................................29......................................32..................................................34.....................................36.....................36...................................37...................37..........................38....................................................40...........................41..................41...................................42.............................................................44.......................45.........................45..........49.............49......................................50.....................51................................................51..................................................51.........53.......................................54....................................54..........................................55............................................57viii ixFigure 46: Tree Hopper - Locations and Walking DistancesFigure 47: Tree Hopper - Plans - Elevation – SectionFigure 48: Tree Hopper - Axonometric CutawayFigure 49: Birch Moss Chapel - ElevationFigure 50: Birch Moss Chapel - View of Center WalkwayFigure 51: Birch Moss Chapel - View from Outside ChapelFigure 52: Birch Moss Chapel - PlanFigure 53: The Patient Gardener - RenderFigure 54: Auerworld PalaceConceptFigure 55: Platform RenderFigure 56: 0+ YEARSFigure 57: 3+ YEARSFigure 58: Garden + WarehouseFigure 59: 0+ YEARSFigure 60: 10+ YEARSFigure 61: 25+ YEARSFigure 62: 75+ YEARSSite AnalysisFigure 63: Site ElementsFigure 64: Figure GroundFigure 65: Site DiagramSoil GenerationFigure 66: Soil Generation - Short TermFigure 67: Soil Generation - Long TermFigure 68: Lupinus + Soil Growth – Year 0Figure 69: Lupinus + Soil Growth – Year 5Figure 70: Lupinus + Soil Growth – Year 8....58.................58.........................59......................................60...........61........61................................................62.....................................63.............................................................64.................................................................68............................................................................70.............................................................................70........................................................73............................................................................74...........................................................................74...........................................................................74..........................................................................74.....................................................................77....................................................................78.......................................................................79.........................................80..........................................81.....................................83.....................................84....................................85...........................................................86...............................87.........................................................88.................................................................90........................91........................................................92.......................................95..................................................96.......................................97........................................................98................................................................100..............................102........................103.......................................................104.........................106...............................107Process Figure 71: Site Plan | 0+ YearsFigure 72: Concrete Plant Section | 0+ YearsFigure 73: Site Plan | 10+ YearsFigure 74: View of NurseryFigure 75: Nursery Being Constructed | Year 10+Figure 76: Site Plan | 25+ YearsFigure 77: Raised Walkway ConstructionFigure 78: View of Raised WalkwayFigure 79: Raised Walkway ConstructionFigure 80: Site Plan | 50+ YearsFigure 81: Axon | Year 50+Figure 82: Concrete Plant Section | Year 50+Figure 83: View of Platforms by Concrete PlantFigure 84: Site Plan | 75+ YearsFigure 85: Open-Air Pavilion Section | Year 75+Figure 86: Open-Air Pavilion Plan | Year 75+End Matterx xiINTRODUCTIONThe pursuit of slowness in an increasingly busy society is a difficult thing to achieve. How can the infrastructure and urban design of a city support the health of its population and provide space for this pursuit?Left Intentionally Blankxii xiiiThis architecture thesis draws heavily from the field of Slow Culture and how it affects the ar-chitectural field and city building. It examines offshoots of the movement such as Cittaslow concerning public spaces and parks and uses it as a guide to evaluating architectural and urban design. For the purposes of this evalu-ation, Victoria was selected to conduct a case study. As our city’s populations increase and densify, there is a need to develop more parkland to keep up with a sustainable ratio of parkland to the resident. In its most recent parks mas-ter-plan, the City of Victoria stated that with increasing densification, the city would need 53 hectares of new parkland over the next three decades to sustain the current per-cap-ita parkland.1 As there is a limit to the amount of parkland that a city can realistically obtain and keep what do we do when the city be-comes densified to the point where the num-ber of residents overwhelms the current park infrastructure. Apart from beautification and amount of green space, parkland’s core function is to benefit the mental health of a population. As humanity has progressed through the 20th century and into the 21st, life continues to speed up. The societal push of ultimate mul-titasking has led to increased productivity at the expense of the mental and physical health of the city. The rise of the Mega-City and the density of its urban fabric and lack of access to nature are directly connected to the de-crease of the overall mental health of its re-gion.2This thesis posits that in combining Slow Cul-ture with contemporary living structures, pub-lic space can be developed in which its capac-ity for occupants increases with time. xiv 11 LEES + ASSOCIATES, 2017. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan. City of Victoria, p.352 Peen, Schoevers, Beekman, Dekker, 2010. The Cur-rent Status of Urban-Rural Differences in Psychiatric Disorders. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, p.84-93ENDNOTESPROJECT FRAMEWORKPART I2 3RATIONALETo combat the increasing density of Victoria’s population in relation to their park inventory, they will need to either acquire more parkland or increase their program densification. While there is a need for open spaces within a city, making more use out of the same amount of land will allow them to accommodate the  projected population growth over the next  century.Left Intentionally Blank4 5URBAN HEALTHFigure 1: Bornstein, Helen, and Mark Bornstein. 1976. Diagram Of Walk-ing Speeds In Relation To City Size.Treed green spaces and parks are a major influence on the health of residents within a city. The economic push to increase produc-tivity has come at the expense of the mental health of the city and has produced the con-crete jungle that we are now used to.The rise of the Mega-City and the density of its urban fabric are directly connected to the decrease of the overall mental health of its region.  While many studies have been done on this effect, a 2009 report of this phenom-enon concluded that city living resulted in an increase of 39% in mood disorders and 21% in anxiety disorders in addition to having a cor-related increase in the onset of schizophrenia.1 Other studies show that a fast-paced lifestyle manifests itself in subconscious ways such as increases in average walking speed in large cities as well as significant correlations to be-ing more at risk of heart disease.2 Several factors play into this relationship between health and the urban environment, While preexisting conditions along with social factors and overload all contribute to a decreased state of health, the erosion of protective ele-ments and environmental factors form a significant part of the problem.3 Reduced access to nature along with in-creased light and noise pollution lead to over-stimulation and high-stress environments.6 7CITTASLOWCittaslow is an organization born out of the Slow Food movement that focuses on increas-ing the quality of life for residents of towns and small cities by slowing down the pace of life. Made up of a network of 272 towns and cities with less than 50,000 residents, it em-braces new technologies and urban design in their support the slow development of the urban environment.5Through Cittaslow, sustainability becomes paramount dictating everything from con-struction methods to city development and planning to farmers markets. Parallel to Cittaslow incorporating these prin-ciples into the realm of urban planning, Slow Architecture itself has seen a gradual increase in attention within the last couple of decades. Born out of the Slow Food movement, Slow Architecture strives to find the balance be-tween our fast-paced lifestyle and the decom-pression of the individuals’ mental state. It achieves this through the study of authentic materiality, formal logic, and temporal experi-ence.4 First established in 1986, the Slow Food move-ment sought to reduce the impact and the prevalence of fast food within society, pro-moting the rediscovering of local cuisines. While the speed of the city has contributed to major advancements in the industry over the last century, the toll it has on the mental and physical health of its occupant needs to be addressed through a re-imagining of the built environment.   With the size of the city influencing even the speed at which we travel, creating havens of retreat within the metropolis becomes neces-sary to provide a release valve from the pres-sure in which we live. Slow Architecture, in the form of living structures, can provide and elicit this essential decompression of temporal experience of the built environment.SLOW CULTURE8 9Living Architecture is the embodiment of slow design and architecture. Born out of the rich historical art of tree shaping living structures, living architecture or Arbortecture, are the contemporary manifestation of architecture that is grown instead of built. Some of the best historical examples of these structures are the Living Root Bridges in India. Primarily located in the northeastern state of India, Meghalaya, Root Bridges form an important part of the region’s transportation infrastruc-ture. Spanning to a maximum recorded length of 50 meters.6Two contemporary architectural examples of living structures are Baubotanik and Fab Tree Hab. The first currently undergoing research tests while the second is a conceptual project by Terraform One. Both of these projects are formed from living trees and begin to question the current architectural dialogue and con-struction methods in contemporary architec-ture. Building with living trees is a construc-tion method that’s glacial pace interacts with the meditation space through its visual chang-es through the year and its lifetime. LIVING STRUCTURESFigure 4: Living Root Bridge;      Rogers P. 2015Figure 5: Baubotanik; Ludwig,      F. 2012Figure 2: Living Root Bridge;      Di Sturco, G. 2018Figure 3: The Patient Gardener*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.10 11LIVING ROOT BRIDGESJING KIENG JRIGrowing to maturity over a span between 15 and 50 years, the construction of root bridg-es revolves around the use of scaffolding that channels the aerial roots of the region’s pro-lific rubber fig tree or Ficus Elastica. After the site and necessary trees have been selected, scaffolding is constructed over the obstacle between them.7 The roots and branches of the tree are then routed along the length of the bridge, being allowed to grow free in the di-rection chosen direction. As the tree and roots mature, they form a structural lattice-work for the bridge. Eventually, the scaffolding will rot away leaving only the living structure behind.8 Through the growing process, the bridge will need regular maintenance to ensure that the proper growth of the structure. This active care is needed for as long as the bridge trees stay alive. Maintaining these structures be-come a social endeavor, bringing its communi-ty together with a shared interest.FIgure 6: A Young Aerial Root Tied Back; Yadav, P. 2020.FIgure 7: Bird’s Eye View; Yadav, P. 2020.FIgure 8: Longest Known Root Bridge - 50 Meters; Yadav, P. 2020.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.12 13Figure 10: Growth Diagram of a Root Bridge.(cont.); by AuthorThe scaffold rots away leaving only the live treeThe roots grow along thestructure grafting with one another to forma a structural webThe bridge and tree are mature lifespan 600 yearsYear 10-30Year 30-75Year 75+Figure 9: Growth Diagram of a Root Bridge; by AuthorInitial framwork to create a scaffolding for the rootsThe young, pliable roots are encouraged to grow along the scaffoldingYear 0Year 1-10 14 15RELEVANCYWith an already low parkland space-per-res-ident ratio, the City of Victoria is densifying its urban fabric. To balance this new devel-opment, Victoria will either need to obtain a large amount of new parkland or seek to ‘den-sity’ its existing open spaces, possibly both.1. Peen, Schoevers, Beekman, Dekker, 2010. The Cur-rent Status of Urban-Rural Differences in Psychiatric Disorders. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, p.84-932. Levine, Robert V. 1990. “The Pace of Life.” Ameri-can Scientist 78 (5): 450-459.3. Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health. 2020. How Urban Design Can Impact Mental Health.4. SLOW FOOD MANIFESTO. 1989. Ebook. Paris: Slow Food. 5. Paquot, Alter architectures manifesto: Observato-ry of innovative architectural and urban processes in Europe, 2012  6. Rogers, P., 2015. The Undiscovered Living Root Bridges Of Meghalaya Part 17. Rogers, P., 2015. The Undiscovered Living Root Bridges Of Meghalaya Part 28. Yadav, P., 2020. Living Tree Bridges In A Land Of Clouds. [Blog] NPR, Available here [Accessed 22 December 2020].ENDNOTES16 17PARKS AND OPEN SPACES MASTER PLANPublished in 2017, the Parks & Open Spaces Master-plan attempts to “lay out a road-map to guide planning, management, and invest-ment over the next 25 years”.1 Collecting and analyzing historic park data to use it to cre-ate a projection of park use through to 2041. Showing current use, population and park densities and proposed sites of new parkland it identifies key issues and priorities for the development and organization of the parks within the Victoria municipality.In 2011, 59% of Victoria residents rented their dwelling. The neighbourhoods with the highest rental rates were North Park, Downtown and James Bay (77%, 73%, and 69% respectively). The neighbourhoods with the highest home ownership rates were Gonzales, Oaklands, and Victoria West (70%, 58%, and 49% respective-ly) (Statistics Canada, 2011). Also, of note, the number of one person households is at nearly 50% and will likely rise.2Figure 11: Map of the City of Victoria; by Author18 19The repercussions of these trends are that over the foreseeable future the demand for park space is going to grow, especially around areas that are seeing high rates of densifi-cation such as Downtown and Harris Green. To this end, the current projections of park-land-per-resident in 2041 will have decreased by approximately 20% if nothing is done to increase the inventory of land. Currently, Vic-toria has a park-per-resident, in hectares, the ratio of 2.65 ha / 1,000 residents decreasing to 2.12 ha by 2041. This allocation of parkland is much lower than the average in BC, with similar-sized communities having a median provision of 10.7 ha / 1,000 residents.3 In addition to these challenges, one of the goals set by the Community Plan is to grant greater access to parks through having every home in Victoria be within 400 meters, equat-ing to a 5-minute walk, of a park.4Figure 12: Map of Municple Parks in Victoria w/400m Radius;       LEES + Associates, 2017Figure 13: Map of Playgrounds and Schools; LEES + Associates, 2017*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.20 21URBAN FOREST MASTER PLANMuch more focused in scope, the Urban For-est Master Plan, developed in 2013, specifically looks at the development of the tree canopy within the Victoria municipality. The plan ex-amines the current state of the urban forest and lays out the groundwork and ideas for the next 20-50 years of tree development. The report looks at the diversification of the tree species, taking into account climate change and how the current plantings will cope.5   The map on the right depicts the tree canopy density in 2011. As seen, the downtown core, Harris Green and Burnside are areas of severe underdevelopment of the urban forest. This is mostly linked to the low amount of parkland within these areas as the current parkland typically has a significantly higher density of trees than any other portion of the city.Figure 14: Heatmap of Tree Cover; Caslys Consulting, 2011*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.22 23PLANNINGThe specifics of living structures necessitate particular strategies in both tree species and location in proximity to each other, layered on this are the potential architectural programs as the two meld together creating an ever evolving site.1. City of Victoria, 2017. Parks & Open Spaces Mas-terplan. Victoria, BC, p.5.2. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan p.123. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan p.334. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan p.385. City of Victoria, 2013. Urban Forest Master Plan. Victoria, BC.ENDNOTES24 25SPECIESWhile several species could potentially sus-tain themselves, grafting together to form the needed structure, the Baubotanik research group has classified species that have worked best in their tests. Birch, Hornbeam, Poplar and Sycamore all fuse together in a process called inosculation, a phenomenon that allows tree branches, roots, and trunks to grow to-gether similar to the process of grafting.2Through intentional inosculation these trees can be merged, eventually sharing growth rings, and becoming one organism. Being lo-cated in Germany, a place with a similar cli-mate, Baubotanik’s processes and research in the growing of living structures can be migrat-ed to work on the West Coast.Figure 15: Hornbeam      Carpinus BetulusFigure 16: Birch      Betula PapyriferaFigure 18: Poplar      Populus TrichocarpaFigure 17: Sycamore      Platanus Occidentalis26 27PROGRAMA multi-level park embedded in the structure provided by the site’s planting, these living pavilions provide a framework for communi-ty growth. They will encapsulate a variety of programs as the site requires and evolves. In addition to the typical parks program, pro-gram-specific spaces will be created. Fixedmeeting spacesreading spacesstorage spacesequipment spacesmeditation spacesFlexiblegathering spacesperformance spacesmarket spacesexercise spacesFigure 19: Treed Courtyard Spacial Diagram; by AuthorFigure 20: Program Diagram28 29SITEThree sites have been selected for further considerations. All located near the down-town core, they look to fulfill the need for an increased density of parkland in neighbour-hoods that are becoming more populated. 1. City of Victoria, 2017. Parks & Open Spaces Mas-terplan. Victoria, BC, p.14.2. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan p.123. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan p.334. Parks & Open Spaces Masterplan p.385. City of Victoria, 2013. Urban Forest Master Plan. Victoria, BC.ENDNOTES30 31VICTORIA, BCThe provincial capital of British Columbia, Victoria has one of the strongest economies in the province including advanced education, government, r & d, tourism, and technology.1 Falling behind on its parkland-per-resident ratio, it is an ideal site to experiment with this new vision of flexible green space. A small city amid expansion, the retaining of its community focus and culture as it moves forward will be crucial to the retention of identity and place. The state of surrounding parks and green space influences both the economy and quality of life within the area. As such, tourism and community engagement both stand to gain through the construction of these structures through the resulting pil-grimage that will happen to these spaces. Using Victoria’s Community plan and the Parks and Open Spaces Master-plan to specify deficiencies in the network of parks and and the areas that have needs for future park lo-cations, three potential sites were selected to farther analyze.Rock BayChinatownPioneer ParkFigure 14: Map Showing Site Locations; by Author32 33ROCK BAYSet just outside of Victoria’s Downtown in the Burnside district, is Rock Bay. The site has been flagged as a potential park in the OCP with the surrounding area planned for mixed-use residential and light industrial. The long term vision for Lower Rock Bay is as part of a new mixed-use urban village that will incor-porate the area’s industrial nature within the town fabric.1The area is a juxtaposition between tree-lined streets and heavy industry. Forming the core of Victoria’s industrial sector, the development of Lower Rock Bay will be a deciding factor in how more green space will be added to the city’s inventory. A major part of the waterfront is currently a staging site for an aggregate and concrete company. This along with the heavy industry that this site has historically been home to has made the site’s waterways the most polluted in BC.2 Figure 21: Rock Bay Figure Ground Study; Victoria GIS + by Author34 35BAY STGOVERNMENT STPEMBROKE STJOHN STTURNER STBRIDGE STRemediating Rock Bay is a crucial piece to the City’s development, as it will allow them to move forward with their community plan for the district. It will also serve to help to meet the Parks Masterplan in placing all residents in the city within a 5 minute/400 meter walk of a park or public space.Figure 22: Plan of Lower Rock Bay highlighting roadways and on-site buildings: Victoria GIS + by Author36 37Figure 23: Aerial View of Lower Rock Bacy; Google Maps, 2020 Figure 25: Aerial View of Lower Rock Bacy; Google Maps, 2020Figure 24: View from Pembroke St Looking North; Google, 2020 Figure 26: View from Government St Looking West; Google, 2020*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.38 39PIONEER SQUAREA historic park located next to Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral, Pioneer Square has a long history of public use. Founded in 1855 as a public cemetery, the space was used as such until 1873 at which point the land had too many problems and had filled up with some 1300 interments.   After falling into disrepair for the next 30 years, the site was finally converted into a public park in 1908. Currently, the park is in-habited by 74 mature trees, forming a dense canopy over much of the site. Of these plant-ings, only 20% are native species with less than 40% of the overall trees being in good health.3The park’s proximity to downtown as well as its proximity to the Fort St greenway, the ca-thedral and being located in the Harris Green district of Victoria mark the site as a destina-tion. Figure 27: Pioneer Square Figure Ground Study, Victoria GIS + by Author40 41MEARES STROCKLAND STBROUGHTON STCOURTNEY STBURDETT STFORT STVANCOUVER STQUADRA STBetween servicing the residential neighbour-hood to the west and the commercial district to the east, this site hosts a highly varied user-base. Nearby development on Fort st will only increase this already busy park.Figure 28: Plan of Pioneer Square with Mature Tree Locations, Victoria GIS + by AuthorFigure 29: View from Quadra St Looking South; Google 2020Figure 30: View from Meares St Looking Southwest ; Google 2020*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.42 43CHINATOWNSet in between Fisgard and Herald streets near Victoria’s Chinatown, this infill project would seek to remediate a small, paved park-ing lot that currently runs the width of the block connecting to both streets. Framed on either side the project would inhabit the long space, creating a journey through its length.   Historically an ostracized community, China-town was never considered for park develop-ment. Today the area is a patchwork of heri-tage buildings and large parking lots. Figure 31: Chinatown Figure Ground Study, Victoria GIS + by Author44 45HERALD STFISGARD STGOVERNMENT STSTORE STThis area of Downtown Victoria is sorely lack-ing in green park space, especially when con-sidering its current residential population and historic siting. This site would allow for the living structures to be in a relational dialogue with the built environment of the downtown city. Figure 32: Plan of Infill Site Through Center of City Block, Victoria GIS + by AuthorFigure 33: View from Humbolt St. Looking South; Google 2020Figure 34: View from Fisgard St. Looking North; Google 2020*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.46 47PRECEDENTSThe act of being slow in a fast environment is a conscious decision in which living archi-tecture can be an emissary of in relationship between park and city.1. City of Victoria, 2020. Official Community Plan. Victoria, BC.2. Pollutiontracker.org. 2020. Pollution Tracker – How Polluted Is Your Ocean?. [online] Available here [Accessed 21 December 2020].ENDNOTES48 49BAUBOTANIK - PLANE TREE CUBEA project in the Landesgartenschau Nagold exhibition, the Plane-Tree-Cube explores the nature of meditative viewing structures and growing architecture. A technically com-plex project, a system of Plane Trees were disbursed around the perimeter of a struc-tural steel structure which provided a frame on which the plants can grow. Pleached and grafted together, they form a continuous web across the exterior of the structure, eventually growing to support the resulting architecture. In this way, as the project grows, the steel structure will be removed leaving only the platforms held by the network of trunks.   A viewing structure, the project becomes a point of pilgrimage, within the town that it is situated. Constructed of 4 levels with an atri-um-like courtyard in the center, its leafy walls provide muffling to its surroundings without completely cutting it off from its surroundings  The constructed tree provides both the struc-ture and the envelope of the building, a con-stantly evolving shape that will continuously grow.(con)fusing trees and architectureFerdinand Ludwid2012Figure 35: Plane Tree Cube - Steel Truss + Mature Trees; by AuthorFigure 36: Plane Tree Cube - View of Young Structure; Ludwig, F 2012*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.50 51Figure 37: Plane Tree Cube - Ground-plan; by AuthorFigure 38: Plane Tree Cube - Tree Growth Diagram; Ludwig, F 2012Figure 39: Tree to Metal Connection       Ludwig, F 2012Figure 40: Tree to Tree Connection       Ludwig, F 2012*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.52 53FAB TREE HABAn experimental project by Terreform ONE, Fab Tree Hab attempts to fully integrate hu-man habitation and nature. A grown building that has low costs (environmental and mone-tary) and is sustainable. With a growth period of between five and seven years, the home “becomes indistinct and fits itself symbiotical-ly into the surrounding ecosystem”. The orig-inal concept was for a new design for Habitat for Humanity,   Inspired by India’s living root bridges, the growth process is as much part of the de-sign as the final object. The project relies on pleaching, a process in which certain trees can be shaped and woven, together fusing to create a single organism made out of multiple saplings. The woven crisscrossing branches provide structure for the walls while the main trunks are used as beams, grown over the roof. In a slow construction process, the con-tinual growth becomes as important to the project as the outcome.Inter-dependency between nature and peopleTerreform ONE2005Figure 41: Fab Tree Hab - Material and Structure Growth, by Author*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.54 55Figure 42: Fab Tree Hab - View of Model; Terreform ONE, 2005Figure 43: Fab Tree Hab - Gowth Timeline; Terreform ONE, 20050-5 years 5-10 years 10-20 years 20-30 years 30+ yearsFigure 44: Fab Tree Hab - Wall Section; Terreform ONE, 2005*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.56 57TREE HOPPEROriginally the ‘Tree hopper’ was aimed to support the city (and it’s inhabitants), over-whelmed with permanent rush and luck of time, due to significant commuting and inef-ficient urban space organization. However, while the design process, the concept evolved to become an inspiring ‘vehicle’, with potential to be both local and even global solution.A proposed project envisioned as a place of rest and inhabitation within the context of the commute and workplace burnout, Tree Hop-per is a project that exists on the transitional temporal experience between commuting and work.  The project states that “on average, commut-ing and work occupy 20% of our time” As such the proposed city layout would have a Tree Hopper situated not more than a 12-min-ute walk from anywhere in the city.  Using a host tree, a mesh structure and ser-vice core would hold up the tree tents allow-ing for its inhabitants to disconnect from the frantic city.A transitional temporal space in one’s commuteOCTO2017Figure 45: Tree Hopper - Render View; OCTO, 2014*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.58 59Figure 46: Tree Hopper - Locations and Walking Distances;        OCTO, 2014Figure 47: Tree Hopper - Plans - Elevation - Section;        OCTO, 2014Figure 48: Tree Hopper - Axonometric Cutaway; OCTO, 2014*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.60 61BIRCH MOSS CHAPELEnvisioned as an obliteration of the chapel into Karuizawa’s white birches. Kengo Kuma’s Birch Moss Chapel defuses the form of the chapel structure into the surrounding birch grove. The close spacing of the trunks allows for an evolving experience of the avenues of movement and sightlines as one moves around the project.   Materially this project seems to cheat at its in-tent but provides an insight into how a struc-ture can be integrated with a ‘living’ building component. A complete steel structure, the columns have been wrapped in the trunks of birch trees completely hiding them from view. Creating an illusion of nature under the glass roof.A chapel with utmost transparency Kengo Kuma2015Figure 49: Birch Moss Chapel - Elevation; by AuthorFigure 50: Birch Moss Chapel - View of Center Walkway;        Kengo Kuma, 2015Figure 51: Birch Moss Chapel - View from Outside Chapel;       Kengo Kuma, 2015*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.*Redacted for digital publication due to copyright.62 63Figure 52: Birch Moss Chapel - Plan, by Author1. City of Victoria, 2020. Official Community Plan. Victoria, BC.2. Pollutiontracker.org. 2020. Pollution Tracker – How Polluted Is Your Ocean?. [online] Available here [Accessed 21 December 2020].ENDNOTES64 65FRAMWORK SUMMARYContemporary architectural dialogue and green building design should look to the prac-tices and concepts of Living Architecture as a guidebook for future development in the construction of Biofilic Cities. How can these aspects be extrapolated into the built environ-ment? How can these structures gain a footing in the fast contemporary world? Through the combination of traditional and contemporary arts of tree shaping and inosculation, living structures can densify the park environment adding places of refuge and a greater variety of programs. Creating natural growing habit-able structures will allow for increased usage out of the current and future parks; growing to accommodate increasing population levels and public space demand.   These public spaces encourage local pilgrim-age and generate community involvement through the cyclical maintenance of the struc-ture. Used as infill projects, these living struc-tures can be planted for the remediation of sites and their surrounding environment. These slow-growing projects encapsulate a measure of time outside our temporality, pro-viding places of meditation and rest within the concrete jungle. Multi-level structures, the web of trees creates a barrier to noise pollution while giving its inhabitants a unique experi-ence.   Adding to the Victoria’s Urban Forest these spaces will provide areas of decompression within the built environment adding to the evolving discourse between nature and archi-tecture.66 67PROJECT DESIGNPART IILeft Intentionally Blank68 69TRADITION VS SLOWAs this thesis posits questions about slow-ness, relating to both the processes of the site and the temporal experience of the user, it is necessary to define its counterpart. Traditional construction on the West Coast often revolves around the heavy use of concrete, retaining walls, foundations and the like make for a high use of concrete when building a park.Figure 55: Platform Render70 71Instead of concrete, and other imported ma-terials, this project delves into the notion of extreme sustainability and how as part of slow design, this sustainability both informs and dictates the major design decisions of the project.The core belief in this radical form of sustain-ability in a public park revolves around bring as little to site as possible. This serves multi-ple purposes, reducing transportation of sup-plies and the carbon footprint of the project while also being a significant community ini-tiative to both educate and illustrate Slow in everyday life. In the left example, this typical 2-3 year proj-ect of accessing the ocean by the way of con-structing a large concrete retaining wall and subsequent stair is the opposite of what this project is trying to achieve and serves as a vi-sual marker for what this project is attempting.Figure 57: 3+ YEARSFigure 56: 0+ YEARS72 73THE CONCEPTExtrapolating on these notions of slow con-struction and high levels of sustainability, the design concept for the park is a process in which the continual disassembling, construc-tion and evolution of the site, informs public use and interaction with the various pieces of the design. Broken down into general time frames, the primary concept revolves around the evolutionary process of park making and the impacts of Slowness within that. This evolution starts with the industrial site’s current use, a aggregate and concrete plant. The project revolves around respecting the heritage of the industrial zone while also bringing the site into a new life. Through both new construction and planting, and decon-struction and re-purposing of the sites original structures it gets transformed while keeping its ties to its past.By slowly replacing the traditional elements with organic structures the site becomes a synthesis of natural and man-made. Using specialized tree cultivation methods, primari-ly inosculation. The binding of trees together, a structure is grown that connects the man-made to the garden.Figure 58: Garden + Warehouse74 75Figure 62: 75+ YEARSFigure 60: 10+ YEARSFigure 61: 25+ YEARSFigure 59: 0+ YEARS76 77Concrete Block WallsConcrete PlantWarehouseSITE ANALYSISThe current site topology consists of three major elements. A large warehouse building on the eastern side of the site, the concrete plant and the large swathes of concrete block walls that make up the boundary conditions to parts of the site as well as holding spaces for aggregate. Evolving from these site condi-tions, the site will be divided into three main regions. The Forest, the Courtyards and the Meadow. The zones work to provide unique experiences of the site depending where you are, intensifying the existing site as they build on what is already there to evolve the region as the park matures. The forest, grown on the southern portion of the site provides a natural barrier to the park, separating it from the city noise and traffic while also providing a source of lumber for future construction. The meadow, bounding the norther portion of the site contains the greenway that will pass through the site as well as providing space as a dog park, casual sports games and a lawn that the community can inhabit. Last is the courtyard, as the heart of the site it is most protected from the city’s noise and contains the decommissioned concrete plant consist-ing of raised and lowed gardens and court-yards. The areas of the site will be connected through a series of paths and walkways that are constructed and evolve over time.Figure 63: Site Elements78 79MEADOWCOURTYARDFORESTEXISTINGWALLSBUILDINGAGGREGATE STORAGESTAGING AREACONCRETE PLANTFigure 64: Figure Ground Figure 65: Site Diagram80 810+ YEARSGRAVEL | DIRT | CONCRETEGRASSES1-8 YEARSDIRT REMEDIATION | LUPINUS8-25 YEARSPLANTING OF NURSERY | FOREST25+ YEARSYOUNG TREES | HARVESTABLE LUMBERSOIL GENERATIONAs the site is covered with gravel The first process is the creation of soil. As a core com-ponent needed in the remediation of the hard pan gravel surfaces on site, topsoil will need to be generated. We can greatly speed up the topsoil creation through specific plant-ing and then subsequent plowing under the vegetable matter at the end of summer. Tu-ber plants, specifically Lupinus will be used in the initial stages on the park as they are har-dy and can produce working levels of topsoil within 5-10 yearsFigure 66: Soil Generation - Short Term Figure 67: Soil Generation - Long Term82 83Summer | Year 0+Spring | Year 0+Fall | Year 0+Winter | Year 0+The initial years of the park will be dedicat-ed to this creation of topsoil as all following processes depend on it to grow. The cyclical nature of the Lupinus growth and subsequent plowing begins the first measure of time on the site. The soil growth will be slow for the first few years as the ground lacks many nutrients that are necessary for plant growth. But as the years pass, the soil will generate at higher rates until the tillable soil has been saturated. Figure 68: Lupinus + Soil Growth - Year 084 85Summer | Year 8+Summer | Year 5+Spring | Year 8+Spring | Year 5+Fall | Year 8+Fall | Year 5+Winter | Year 8+Winter | Year 5+Figure 70: Lupinus + Soil Growth - Year 8Figure 69: Lupinus + Soil Growth - Year 586 87Figure 71: Site Plan | 0+ Years Figure 72: Concrete Plant Section | 0+ YearsSITE PLAN 0+ YEARSThe site as it is today, home to mounds of gravel and sand, the concrete plant central to all pro-cess that take place here. The Lupinus are planted.88 89Greenway ConstructionForest PlantingNursery CreationPathLookoutBridge Construction SITE PLAN 10+ YEARSAt this point, the soil on site should be ready for the beginnings of the planting of the park. The nursery and forest are created at some point during the soil remediation allowing them to mature as the future processes on the park depend on their development. Along with the creation of the these plant-ings. the greenway is completed for the city providing a thoroughfare for the non vehicular traffic between downtown and northwestern Victoria. Off of the greenway a trail is created, connecting to the old pier and providing an initial public access to the siteThe concrete plant is slowly being shut down, decommissioning and deconstructing over the course of the initial growth of the park.Figure 73: Site Plan | 10+ Years90 91THE NURSERYFollowing this process a nursery will be cre-ated taking up a portion of the inner storage area on site. Young trees will be either planted or left in their sacks depending on how the soil generation process is proceeding. Located within the eventual courtyard they are largely protected from the concrete block walls that bound the space.Figure 74: View of Nursery Figure 75: Nursery Being Constructed | Year 10+92 93SITE PLAN 25+ YEARSBy now, inroads have been made in the forms of pathways through the meadow and A boardwalk has been created connecting the pier walk back down to the city, providing a round trip of approximately 1 km.Starting at a parking lot forest pathways lead into the site eventually connecting up to ei-ther the top or bottom, they then continue either to the greenway or to the two courtyards that have been created between the inner and outer portions of the site. Trees have been planted along the green-way, providing a soft barrier between the two zones. By now, the forest and nursery should be growing well. This signifies the initial harvest-ing of wood from the forest and the creation of raised platforms that begin to lift the park in the vertical direction. GREENWAYTREE-LINEDPATHSDECOMISSIONCONCRETE PLANTCOURTYARDCOURTYARDPATHSRAISED WALKWAYBOARDWALKFigure 76: Site Plan | 25+ Years94 95THE MILLAt the same time as the nursery, the forest will be planted to the south, eventually to be sus-tainably harvested, providing lumber for con-struction taking place on site. At this point the site will become self sufficient.This Lumber will be then used to create a se-ries of raise platforms and walkways, in their own way mimicking the catwalks of the site’s previous usage. These walkways make use of both the lumber and the concrete block walls that will be moved as necessary to provide structure. Lifting the occupant above the ground cre-ates a new datum at which ones experience of space and time subtlety shift. Crafted from the lumber harvested from the forest, the platforms make use of the existing concrete block walls which provide their initial support-ive structure. Then surrounded with saplings grown in the nursery, the platforms are envel-oped in the resulting canopy. Over time, the saplings will grow and intentionally inosculate providing a structural base in which the plat-form will eventually rest. Figure 77: Mill96 97Figure 79: Raised Walkway ConstructionFigure 78: View of Raised Walkway98 99SITE PLAN 50+ YEARSFurther growth of the forest and nursery trees lead to the creation of extended platforms, or catwalks, that connect the three sections of park together. Meeting up with the paths as well as whats left of the concrete plant they provide a separate experience travers-ing the site with various viewpoints along the route.At this point, the nursery is in the midst of being decommissioned drastically shrinking in size as the major need for it has gone. Far-ther along in the process of deconstruction and decommissioning, the concrete plant has become publicly accessible creating the initial access point into the heart of the site through the construction of the new overhead walk-ways. In keeping with the other evolution taking place on the center of the site, the large ware-house building is undergoing the early stages of redesigning. The site, needing a covered performance space, necessitates a redefining of the building’s current role.BUILDINGRENOVATIONHARVESTABLE FORESTCONCRETE PLANTDECOMMISSIONEDDECOMMISIONINGOF NURSERYRAISED WALKWAY& PLATFORMSFigure 80: Site Plan | 50+ Years100 101Warehouse being renovated into an open-air pavilion supported by a series of large timber glulam beams with wood harvested from the siteGreenwayWarehouse being renovated into an open-air pavilion supported by a series of large timber glulam beams with wood harvested from the siteSemi-mature forest, able to be harvested for lumber to start construction in other areas on the site Decommissioned concrete plant in the midst of platform and catwalk construction, connecting the various parts of the park togetherRaised walkway & platforms constructed out of site sourced lumber. Providing views into the harbour and cityFigure 81: Axon | Year 50+102 103Figure 82: Concrete Plant Section | Year 50+ Figure 83: View of Platforms by Concrete Plant104 105SITE PLAN 75+ YEARSBy now the majority of the initial vision of the park will be completed, still growing and evolving but at a reduced rate and as needed responding to community demands. The nursery has drastically reduced in size by this point which allows the central portion of the site to be fully realized. A series of court-yards flow into one another creating overlap-ping spaces that interact with the walkways above. The Concrete plant is now a viewing platform that serves as a hub for traversing the site.The renovated warehouse has become an open air pavilion, the center of performance space in the park. Incorporating the design language of the rest of the park, the ware-house strives to balance its industrial heritage with its new artistic purpose.MATURE FORESTPLATFORMSCOURTYARDSREDUCED NURSERYFigure 84: Site Plan | 75+ Years106 107POOLWATER COLLECTIONRAISED PLATFORMSSEATINGSTAGECOURTYARDFigure 85: Open-Air Pavilion Section | Year 75+ Figure 86: Open-Air Pavilion Plan | Year 75+108 109BIBLIOGRAPHYLeft Intentionally Blank110 111Beatley, Timothy, 2011. Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning. Washington, DC: Island Press/Center for Resource EconomicsBratman, Hamilton, Hahn, Daily, Gross. Nature Experience Reduces RuminationCentre for Urban Design and Mental Health. 2020. How Urban Design Can Impact Mental Health. [online] Avail-able here [Accessed 21 December 2020].Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health. n.d. How The City Affects Mental Health. [online] Available here [Ac-cessed 22 December 2020].Cittaslow.org. 2016. Philosophy | Cittaslow International. [online] Available here [Accessed 22 December 2020].Cittaslow Cities. Cittaslow International. [online] Available here [Accessed 22 December 2020].Dougherty, P., 2020. Stickwork. [online] Patrick Dough-erty. Available here <http://www.stickwork.net/> [Ac-cessed 23 December 2020].Jaffe, Eric. 2012. “Why People In Cities Walk Fast”. Bloomberg.Com. Available hereLevine, Robert V. 1990. “The Pace of Life.” American Sci-entist 78 (5): 450-459Ludwig, Ferdinand, Wilfrid Middleton, Friederike Gallen-müller, Patrick Rogers, and Thomas Speck. “Living Bridges using Aerial Roots of Ficus Elastica – an Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Scientific Reports 9, no. 1 (2019): 12226-11.Mathew, Rosamma. “The Living Root Bridges of Megha-laya.” Current Science (Bangalore) 89, no. 1 (2005): 10-11.Middleton, Wilfrid, Amin Habibi, Sanjeev Shankar, and Fer-dinand Ludwig. “Characterizing Regenerative Aspects of Living Root Bridges.” Sustainability 12, no. 8 (2020): 3267. Middleton, Wilfrid, Amin Habibi, Sanjeev Shankar, and Fer-dinand Ludwig. “Characterizing Regenerative Aspects of Living Root Bridges.” Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland) 12, no. 8 (2020): 3267.Oommen, Ansel. 2015. “Baubotanik: The Botanically In-spired Design System That Creates Living Buildings”. Archdaily. Available here.Paquot, Thierry, Alter architectures manifesto Observatory of innovative architectural and urban processes in Europe, 2012 [Gollion (CH)]: Eterotopia.Peen, J., R. A. Schoevers, A. T. Beekman, and J. Dekker. 2010. “The Current Status of Urban-Rural Differences in Psychiatric Disorders.” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 121 (2): 84-93 Pollutiontracker.org. 2020. Pollution Tracker – How Pol-luted Is Your Ocean?. [online] Available here [Accessed 21 December 2020].Rogers, P., 2015. The Undiscovered Living Root Bridges Of Meghalaya Part 2: Bridges Near Pynursla. [online] Avail-able here [Accessed 22 December 2020].112 113Shu, Qiguan, Wilfrid Middleton, Moritz Dörstelmann, Dan-iele Santucci, and Ferdinand Ludwig. “Urban Microclimate Canopy: Design, Manufacture, Installation, and Growth Simulation of a Living Architecture Prototype.” Sustain-ability 12, no. 15 (2020): 6004. Slow Food International. n.d. Slow Food International. [on-line] Available here [Accessed 22 December 2020].SLOW FOOD MANIFESTO. 1989. Ebook. Paris: Slow Food. Available hereStrauss, C. and Fuad-Luke, A., 2020. The Slow Design Principles. [ebook] slowLAB Inc. Available here [Accessed 22 December 2020].Wang, L., 2016. Living Baubotanik tree tower rises in Ger-many. [Blog] Inhabitat, Available here [Accessed 21 De-cember 2020].Yadav, P., 2020. Living Tree Bridges In A Land Of Clouds. [Blog] NPR, Available here [Accessed 22 December 2020].APPENDIX114 115116 117Thanks for Reading

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