architecture / research
project 'haus am see' (,lake house')
udk berlin, welzow, 2014
collaborator: lara monti
the project on post-mining landscapes tries to find alternative approaches to deal with the vast man-made landscapes.
The project is comprised of two main constituents which approach the topic from a graphical, analytical side and in the second step inform a series of artefacts.
the work centres around the idea of how to utilize the distinct conditions of the area for a speculative design project.
conventional post-mining sites undergo an extensive process of renaturation, aiming to reinstall the preliminary condition of the landscape. however, this approach inevitably refers to a dualism between the idea of nature and man-made nature.
post-mining landscapes possess a unique spatial and morphological character and can be understood as an imprint of the human presence and impact on the earth.
by understanding these unique landscapes as an artefact of the anthropocene, a problem of conservation arises. merely abandoning the area is not accounting for the processual character of these territories.
the speculative project tries to approach these conditions through a constant intervention with the landscape generating a constant transformative process.
by utilizing the unique hydrological conditions of the area a system which triggers a centenary flooding of the mining landscape was conceptualized.
an artificial lake of 1000m in diameter is gradually filled with acidic water due to the rise of the ground-water. once filled a syphon system in combination with an array of mechanical ram-pumps is flooding the post-mining area. the system is self-sufficient and triggered automatically without human interaction once the water rises to a certain height. this perpetual transformation or reset occurs, beyond human timescale, every 100 years generating a post-anthropocentric landscape. the artefacts abstractly illustrate the processes using different media held together by the shared narrative.
the mining sites around welzow employ a complex ground-water management to be able to extract coal. This system uses arrays of pumps to lower the ground-water level hence influences the hydrological condition of the whole area affecting rivers and farmland.
after a mine is exploited the pumps are dismantled and the groundwater gradually equalizes, filling the excavations with water and creating lakes. the water of these lakes, however, turned acidic whilst penetrating specific geological layers.
the lake's acidity sometimes reaches values comparable to vinegar, posing a threat to the environment.
the research investigates these large-scale hydrodynamic shifts in order to speculate about alternative answers to this unique condition of the anthropocene.