Abstract for Technical Study


Keywords: Operable landscape, urban density, wetland mechanism, Thames gate way, land transformation, compact housing, Wetland Eco-service, buoyancy force, Tidal cycle, Methane,


Water front Urbanizing process has contradicted with its natural condition by reclaiming land over wetlands and altering water flows. Wetlands perform as “the kidneys of the landscape” providing the bio-diversity and productive ecosystems. “How is city able to embrace this naturally advantageous eco system and get benefit for its’ complex urban metabolism?”


Demanding forces of London expansion along Thames gateway opens potentials to experiment a city on the wetlands of river Thames. The ‘wetland + city’ can benefit from land use, wastewater treatment, remediation of ecosystem and renewable energy. The hybrid process of ‘wetland + city’ aims two objectives; build appropriate urban density to vitalize neighborhoods and construct an optimized wetland mechanism to maximize its operation and recreational services and also to minimize side effects to the life above.


On the edges between the inland city network and water, the wetland city works as an operable landscape’ which provides flexible grid of transportation and energy supply, habitable area as the urban dwelling density, wetland eco-service and recreational public space. Above all things, it is the most challenging issue to create safe places and stable platform for these on perpetual fluctuation of tidal flow also without disruption on wetland operation. To achieve these design objectives on dynamic water, the following technical issues have to be considered.


-           buoyancy force with multi-level pontoon network

-           permeable pilling structure –

-           constructed wetland mechanism –


Although, these are inseparable each other for the project as they are reciprocal, the study focus on buoyancy force due to its closer relation to the architectural intervention also less embedded footprints. For instance, on water, buoyancy acts according to mass, volume and density that directly link to weight, balance and city formation. In relation to constructed wetland formation and tidal cycle, the analysis of buoyancy and pontoon system enable the architecture to act as an element of operable wet-landscape in the city. Especially the pontoon expands its usage with piles on the water bed. Then, buoyancy plays a key role for the overall structural core of wetland city design process. The study measures quantitative limits and potentials and provides a tool to explore viable typologies to accommodate resilient mix-use urban density on the site condition.-TBC

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