São Paulo’s new eco-park
From Brazil comes this gorgeous new “eco-park” built on a brownfield–formerly the 130,000-square-foot site of a garbage incinerator. Davis Brody Bond Architects and Levisky Arquitetos Associados have transformed it into a multi-functional park that celebrates the site’s industrial, cultural and natural heritage. Tons of sustainable features here: solar panels, reclaimed wood, passive water filtering systems. Even the old garbage incinerator itself was retrofitted into a sustainability museum!
Of particular note to us is the design team’s efforts to minimize excavation of contaminated soil by building a deck that hovers three feet above the ground. Soil at the Freshkills Park site is an issue, too–much of the site that was closed before public access was envisioned has been covered with an industrial grade soil, and we’ll have to cover over with two feet of cleaner soil before we can open those areas up to the public. Two feet over a lot of acreage is, of course, very expensive. It’s interesting to consider the trade-offs made in both approaches to the public’s interaction with the earth it’s standing on–size of project, program opportunities, cost, permitting, timelines, etc.