Europan 9: Detox Urbanism

Nina Ilieva, Mitch McEwen, Sernhong Yu

Spring 2007, Detox Urbanism: Europan 9 competition, Syracuse Italy

The programs outlined in the Europan competition brief were not viable.  The project traced a complete network of toxic dumping sites through Italy.  The network of sites reveals the 21st century criminal operation known as the Eco-Mafia.

Unfortunately, policies that enforce the proper treatment of waste also make it criminally profitable to exploit the system with fraud, bribery, and extortion.  Toxic waste trafficking proliferates throughout cities with organized crime, infiltrating building materials, water sources and, even, agriculture.

The architectural response to this criminal toxicity = evacuate immediately.  The big spheres contain mobile laboratories and temporary housing for anyone who refuses to leave post haste.

Why a sphere? Because a sphere minimizes surface area per volume, reducing the exposure of the facade to the toxic outside air and allowing the maximum amount of remediated air to circulate inside.

Italy: Eco-Mafia network

Italy: Eco-Mafia network

project published in Diva magazine


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