Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MASTER PLAN FOR VATNSMYRI AIRFIELD SITE Reykjavik, 2007 Iceland | Vincent Callebaut


Vatnsmyri is a large flat area, approximately 150 hectares, near the centre of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital in the world. The area is presently occupied by an airport that, according to the current municipal plan, is to be relocated for 2024. This airport serves primarily domestic passenger, recreational and pilot training flights. It was built by British military forces in the beginning of the Second World War.

The goal of the Neuronal Alien’s project is to maximize the opportunity offered by Vatnsmyri to strengthen and enlarge the inner city for the 21st century, providing quality and a strong sense of community. This futuristic master plan will strengthen the international role of Reykjavik by creating a dynamic and contemporary urban fabric with the high flexibility required for research, technology and knowledge based enterprises mixed with housings and new residential forms.


The structure of the Neuronal Alien covers the existing layout of the taking off and landing tracks of the airport. Dense and organic, this elastic organic structure comes loose from its epicentre towards the three local ecosystems of the Vatnsmyri area:

1. The Wetland and the nesting area: in direct continuation of Hljomskalagardur Park and the Lake further north with its birdlife.. This make and the nesting area are included in the Icelandic nature Conservation Register and subject to the city’s preservation controls
2. The Coast: is mostly natural with exposed bedrock, rocks and ponds, kelp and birds. East of Nautholsvik thermal beach, the coast is mostly natural again with a low bank where sedimentary layers are exposed. As a whole, the Skerjafjordur fjord with its coast, skerries and mudflats is an important habitat for wildlife.
3. The Slopes of Oskjuhlid Hill: especially near Nautholsvik, almost a third of the entire Icelandic Flora can be found. It is a largest forest within the urban capital area.

The Neuronal Alien extends itself between the fauna and the local flora to rebuild a new multi-biotope. This will develop itself as a metabolic and porous organism, able to regenerate itself by the absorption of the surrounding landscape. A new tangled and interwoven fragment of the territory tends to let itself penetrate deep down in its alveolar excrescences. It is a habitable body in reactive process to a new urban sociability! Through this three-dimensional network of cellular crevices come to mix together the urban, informative, biochemical, physiological, spatial and climatic flows that hang thus to the surrounding quarters and to the life of this ice island.

In the main arterial streets of this Phylo-High-Tech project, all the functions of the science park come to mix between earth, sea and space. The poles of research, technology and knowledge merge in the interconnected cellular housing network. The epidermis of organic substrate changes itself into progressive landscape by transfixing itself by crystalline bubbles. The interior and the exterior of the Phylo-structure are habitable mixing thus private and public spaces.

The construction of each one expresses itself through the transformation and the suitability of the environment of the others. The great axes are thus linked together by a porous fabric of floating inhabited rings. In the centre of each of them, a new biotope can generate in biological cohabitation with surrounding microcosms. The man and the environment are indivisible. The one becomes the nervous system of the other, the whole forming only one body!
PROGRAM : Master Plan for Vatnsmyri Airfield of Reykjavik
LOCATION : Airfield of Reykjavik
PROMOTER : City of Reykjavik
All texts and images from:Vincent Callebaut
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