You might not think about getting design inspiration from climate change, but Holland based firm, Studio Marco Vermeulen, is challenging that idea.
Studio Marco Vermeulen is a “design office for architecture, urban design, landscape and research.” They focus on projects dealing with energy, water and raw materials, primarily in water safety and climate change. Their latest project is an 8-month renovation of the Biesbosch Museum in Werkendam, Holland. In this project we found a few eco friendly ideas you might want to incorporate in your own home.
To help you feel inspired for more eco-friendly design, let’s take a tour through their latest project.
The Biesbosch Museum
The Biesbosch Museum is the first stop when entering Biesbosch National Park. The museum had become outdated and unable to accommodate the increasing amount of visitors.
It is made up of freshwater tidal wetlands with rivers, creeks, and islands. The museum offers a permanent exhibit on the historical development of the region as well as a new wing that hosts a restaurant and temporary exhibition space.
Water safety was the key concern for the museum overhaul. That’s when they reached out to Studio Marco Vermeulen!
In 2012, there were only 35,000 museum visitors. After the overhaul by Studio Marco Vermeulen, they saw over 30,000 visitors in the three months since reopening. Here are the changes they made.
In response to water safety concerns, the area was turned into a water retention zone. The museum was converted into a manmade island with the removal of the surrounding land.
An extensive filtration eco-system (using willow trees) was created for sanitary wastewater, allowing the willow trees to absorb waste substances as nutrients and then discharge purified water into the adjacent wetland and river.
A key benefit of the improvements to water quality and flow is that it’s creating an opportunity for the return of salmon and sturgeon that disappeared over the last century due to water quality.
In your backyard, you can create a similar water ecosystem with fish, greenery and clean water.
Cool Eco Friendly Features
Perhaps one of the most attractive features of the renovation is the grass and herb covered roof. This was built in a lookout area and path across the top that leads to trails.
Studio Marco Vermeulen described this feature as “a sculptural object that reads as land art and, at the same time, manifests itself in the surrounding landscape.”
If energy conservation is important to your family, you can include some of these same elements in your next project. Examples include heat resistant glass, a grass roof that serves as insulation, and pipes in the floors for heating with a biomass stove and cooling with water from the surrounding river.
The Biesbosch Experience
The ‘Biesbosch experience’ will be realized with the final implementation of museum updates in the spring of 2016. They will offer a scale model of the Biesbosch that will give visitors a hands-on look at the water management cycle, allowing them to experience changing water levels and to manually change the course of the water through various locks.
The Museum Island, as it’s called, will also open a freshwater tidal park. It will get its water from a newly dug creek which will produce a rich ever-changing variety of flora and fauna due to continuously changing water levels. Visitors will be able to experience the difference on every visit by strolling through the path that provides access throughout the island.
If you want to see more interesting environmentally friendly projects from Studio Marco Vermeulen, check out their website.
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