Bridge? Tunnel? Cablecar? Dam? Metropolis? Market? Power plant? Museum? Icon? Prison? Park? Airport? Send us a postcard with your ideas for a connection between Africa and Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar.
In response to recent events in North Africa, Domus is calling on architects, designers, artists, urbanists, theorists and readers to reexamine the relationship between two geographically adjacent yet politically and socially distant continents. Can infrastructure be used as a medium to articulate the complexity of the present spatial condition? Should Africa be definitively severed from—or newly reconnected to—Europe?
This was our response that recently featured on Wallpaper's Blog:
A Living Bridge
The Heracles project is not a bridge it is a living entity spanning the continents a borderless zone. Inspired by African woven material and termite construction but using current steel and lightweight concrete technology.
The application of form driven parametric mimics bone in the construction of the structure of the new terra. Heracles is a kente strip cloth inspired woven form, stiffened to create a three dimensional form supported on floating pontoons which pivot at the bridge form in response to tidal ebb and flow; rising and falling independently in support of the superstructure.
The central portion of Hercales is supported by the undersea mountain which sits midway between the continents, whilst naval traffic is regulated and used as a loading point for cargo and pleasure craft in the Mediterranean .
Over time the coral like structure will disappear under llichen and moss, seamlessly linked to the gardens and forest growing on the upper levels of the structure. We envisage a resort of hotels entertainment, businesses, fueling the interchange between the continents of Euarafrica. The sustainable nature of the endeavour is further enhanced by its ability to produce its own and surplus energy, through wave generated power which it then exports to either continent. Balancing on the tip of an underwater mountain range this new terra is at the fulcrum of a new miscegenation, and a long hoped for future.
The Postcards were on display at The Gopher Hole gallery in London.