US-based architecture studio Höweler + Yoon Architecture has designed a glowing green circular platform, ‘Floatlab’ on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Positioned along the seashore near Bartram Garden- the country’s oldest surviving botanical garden, this ring-shaped floating platform is a vessel, a lens and a threshold through which Philadelphians and visitors rejoin with their natural surroundings. The structure features a sloping ramp shape that allows visitors and the public to stroll atop the river, while some parts of this structure have ‘sink’ by some 4 feet under the water surface, allowing an eye-level view of the river. It makes the visitor measure the invisible properties of the water. Read more about this beautiful project below at SURFACES REPORTER (SR):
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Höweler + Yoon Architecture firm has designed a circular structure to examine the relationship between environmental science, environmental experience, and environmental stewardship. The system allows the visitors to engage with the river directly.
A steel wall holds back the water that lines the walkway, while a ballast helps to achieve the floatation that also sustains the steel structure at the river’s surface. The microphones fixed on this promenade structure allows the visitors to listen to the ripple of the water, the splash of a frog, and other aqueous noises.
The encounter with the river is further intensified with the fluorescent lights within the loop that magnetizes passing fish and other aquatic animals, drawing them closer to Float Lab visitors.
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Apart from this platform, the design studio has also combined a community centre and a laboratory to house many people for educational functions.
People here can collect water samples, sightsee a floating orchard, or partake in various riverside projects such as freshwater mussel hatchery events or painting or sketching classes.
Höweler + Yoon Architecture is an architecture studio based in Boston, the USA, founded in 2004 by Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon.
Project Name: Floatlab
Architecture Firm: Höweler + Yoon
Design Team: Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Eric Höweler, J. MEEJIN YOON, David Hamm, Jonathan Fournier, Elle Gerdeman, Max Jarosz
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Size: 75′ Diameter (190.5 cm)
Sponsors: William Penn Foundation, National Endowment For The Arts, Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, Institute Of Museum And Library Services, Knight Foundation, U.S. department of housing and urban development
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