Mind The Gap

Restoring Anthropogenic Sites Back to Our Future Urban Development
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Designer(s) : Mohammad Arnaout

University : Beirut Arab University

Tutor(s) : Dr Hisham El Arnaouty

The presented project showcases the significant role of architecture in tackling environmental, sociological, and political challenges in our communities. Through innovative bio-based approaches, architectural principles, and philosophical connections, the project explores the potential of fungi, particularly mycelium, to restore human-impacted lands. According to renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, mycoremediation has the remarkable ability to enhance soil quality and bonding by over 200%. Additionally, the project emphasizes the importance of reintegrating anthropogenic sites into the community, offering opportunities for future urban expansion.

The project focuses on Badbhoun Quarry, located in Lebanon’s northern district, which has suffered from uncontrolled quarrying by large cement industries. This unrestrained growth has negatively affected the land, people, and the environment due to the absence of urban planning.

To address this pressing issue, the project proposes an agricultural restoration prototype that embraces the mycoremediation process, utilizing the bio-structures of mycelium and capitalizing on the inherent verticality offered by the quarry. This transformation aims to convert the quarry into a vertical farm, thereby maximizing agricultural efficiency, and restoring its previous identity. The deployment of this prototype across the quarry’s peripheries not only curtails its further expansion but also restores its functionality for communal use.