ELSWORTHY WANG

2003

 

Competition Entry

The proposal for a green ground zero is comprised of three components – a constructed wetland (swamp), solar canopy and interactive nodes. The simplified idea is to make “stuff” from waste. The constructed wetland is a logical connection to the history of the site, as the site was once washed over by glacial waters. The swamp is symbolically related to the underbelly of the city. The streets and buildings of new york city act as the legible, masculine side of a city founded on the grid and deeply rooted in its monuments. Underneath this organization sits the complex and primal. The swamp is Humbaba and the bedrock Gilgamesh, who builds a wall for the city. Woven in the constructed wetland are ideas of history and the underbelly as the support system of the city, physically cleansing its waste-water, and bearing the weight of memory. The second part of this proposal is the solar canopy, a canopy that partially shades the site while collecting energy from the sun. The mesh of this canopy varies in density. It is most dense over the World Trade Center footprints and least dense over the constructed wetland. Its edges extend beyond the site’s boundaries, bleeding into the city. The interactive nodes extend across the city, as artful projects that bring together the functions of a bicycle rack, tree protection, bench and waste depot – garbage, compost and recycling. They are objects each made of paper, wood, concrete, metal or plastic.

Our entry received and Honourable Mention in the juried competition.

Detail of offsite nodes made of re-purposed and recycled material

Detail of living machine swamp, path system and solar canopy