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PHYSALIA, AMPHIBIOUS GARDEN CLEANING EUROPEAN WATERWAYS
WATERWAYS 2010
EUROPE
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PROGRAM : Amphibious garden cleaning european waterways / Floating laboritories, museum and forum
LOCATION : European waterways : Seine, Thames, Volga, Danube, Escaut, etc.
SURFACE AREA : 2000 m
DIMENSIONS : 9m50 height, 80m length, 14m90 width PERSPECTIVES : Philippe Steels
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PHYSALIA, AN AMPHIBIOUS GARDEN CLEANING EUROPEAN WATERWAYS

WATER, A COMMON GOOD FOR THE PLANET!

More than one billion of people do not have any access to drinking water. Three thousands of people die everyday from having consumed polluted water. The water is thus not a good. It should belong to everybody. Many non governmental organisations as well as the PNUD (Programme of the United Nations for the Development) fight for the idea that water is a common good. It must be highly considered and be part of a different management that is not commercial, connecting public and private organisms not only in national and regional frameworks but also on the worldwide scale inside UN or a new specialised ad hoc institution.

Even by taking into account the increase of the worldwide population (9.2 billion within 2050 according to UN), the quantity of soft water accessible on surface represents 40 000 km3 per year. As the world consumes nowadays only 5500 km3 of water (from which 70% for agriculture, 20% for industry and 10% for the domestic consumption), it meets widely the needs of the planetary societies. Contrary to prejudices, the quantity of water does not count. What is important, is the ability of the societies to build the access to drinking water unequally spread on Earth, especially between the North and the South. Actually, only nine countries share together 60% of the annual worldwide flow!

The appeal made during the World Forum of Water in Istanbul at the beginning of March 2009 has to be understood in this framework: The resources dedicated to water are minuscule compared to the spending invested in the fight against the gas emissions with greenhouse effects or the financial crisis (). The water should be in the heart of the policies of agriculture, energy, health, infrastructures, education (). The managers of water are convinced of that, but they do not take the decisions. The heads of state and government have to seize with it (Olcay nver, coordinator of the final report of the Forum of Istanbul).

DRINK AND MOVE CLEANLY FOR EVERYONE?

In the European thought about the adaptation to the climatic change and the establishment of the qualitative and quantitative degradation of the water resources, the supplying for everyone of drinking water and the boost of the transport by waterways (low CO2 transmitter) are the two new ecological and worldwide challenges about the water. In 2009, the ministers of 120 countries, scientists and ecologist fighters participated in Istanbul to the World Forum of Water (as above mentioned) to study the means to avoid a water crisis which according to UN and the World Water Council, will affect about half of the worldwide population within 2030.

In this context, the Physalia project is an architectural prototype that aims at meeting the need of the mutualisation of the knowledge in terms of sustainable management of the water resource. It is a half aquatic and half earthly amphibious vessel, a floating agora which has not only the objective on a geopolitical scale to deal with ecology ad water saving, but also on a European scale, to elaborate strategic solutions to animate the fluvial network. True nomadic hydrodynamic laboratory dedicated to implement an international network of scientific partnerships, Physalia will also develop new prototypes of environmental resources and will show its most advanced studies on this matter:

In terms of water consumption: the water savings, the refill of the ground waters, the control of the rainwater recycling, the recycling of domestic and industrial waters, the purifying of the pollutions coming from agriculture (nitrates, plant health), the desalination of sea water, the management of humid areas, the city-agriculture competition and the valorisation of all the induced waste (sludges, ashes, )

In terms of transport on waterways: the promotion of waterways (fluvial and commercial transport, hydro-electricity production, agricultural irrigation, protection against floods, cooling of the industrial power stations, water sports), the elaboration of laying-out policies of sites located near their surroundings, the improvement of the environmental performance, the social investment in the human capital and the implementation of great priority projects of the reinforcement of the transeuropean network of commercial and fluvial tourism transports as fluvial axis linking the Rhine and the Danube and the fluvial Seine-Escaut waterway.

Physalia is thus an innovative scientific equipment dedicated to set investigation fields as much innovative too! It is a clean vessel, of new generation, a floating purification station, a tool of ecologic promotion with sulphur and carbon zero dedicated to sensitize the populations!

AN AQUATIC PNEUMATOPHORE PURIFYING THE RIVERS AND WATERWAYS !

Physalia is a vessel, 100% self sufficient in energy, whose bionic structure is inspired from the pneumatophorous called also Physalia physalis, from Greek physalis that means water bubble! As this aquatic pneumatophorous, the project is relevant by its perfect symmetry, its oblong shape and its translucent aspect. It is a sum-up of the nature and the biotechnologies dedicated to navigate on the main extra-European rivers between Danube and Volga, between Rhine and Guadalquivir, or also between Euphrate and Tiger. It is a poetic invitation to travel, a sensory experience for the transdisciplinary research, geopolitical debates, popular pedagogy and therefore for the emergence of an ecologic avant-garde on the water theme. It is a charismatic place, an abstraction of landscape opened on the world and mixing the European cultures through an innovative special assembling. It is a ecosystem reacting to its environment, a fragment of living earth, inviting the fauna and the flora of the fluvial biodiversity to come and make its nest in the city!

Its architecture with carbon zero emission is eco-designed from renewable energies to make it as a prototype with positive energy, that means producing more energy than it consumes! Thus, its roof contains a double pneumatic membrane chiselled with smooth photovoltaic solar cells whereas under its hull the hydro-turbines transform the energy of the fluvial stream in hydro-electricity and enable to adjust the soft navigation. Its surface is made of aluminium covering the multi-hull steel structure. This silver-plated dress is covered by a TiO2 layer of anatase shape that by reacting to the ultraviolet rays enables to reduce the water pollution. Actually, in addition to being a self cleaning vessel, it enables to absorb and recycle by photo-catalytic effect, the chemical and carboned waste from the fluvial water rejected by the traditional boats and by industrialists. Moreover, the project is crossed in its double hull by a hydraulic network that enables to filter the fluvial water and to purify it biologically thanks to its planted roof.

When the system of automatic irrigation works in blue hours, the architecture disappears in favour of an atmosphere. Actually, the project metamorphoses into a fog cloud with evanescent contour. The Physalia becomes therefore a perfumed evaporation space that seems to coil up the visitors in suspension inside. The architecture of the futurist ship reveals a perfect balance between the cantilever masses, placing it in light levitation on the water surface. The curved lines are refined and nerve. They show with elegance the innovative and stylish side of this place.

A SCENOGRAPHY DECLINED INTO FOUR THEMATIC GARDENS.

The interior scenography of Physalia animates the debate on the water future into four thematic gardens dedicated respectively to every four elements bringing by symbiosis their typical aspect and complementarily to the final assembling of an amphibious global landscape.

-The Water garden: marks the main entrance of Physalia between the berthing gates and the square. A great glass platform is in suspension on top of the water surface reflecting thus on the interior vault the causticity of the floods. This reception space dedicated to the temporary exhibitions vibrates under the weightlessness and dances under the reflections of light. The faades of this true aquatic balcony can also open themselves totally on the fluvial landscape and let the space breathe towards the exterior caressed by the fluvial breeze.

-The Earth garden: constitutes the heart of the laboratory dedicated to international researchers who analyse the aquatic ecosystem crossed by the ship. On top of this panoramic room, a planted vault stands up. This vault is a fertile metaphor of earth filtering the stations of work and molecular analysis.

-The Fire garden: is a confined and protecting underwater lounge, truly out of time. The soft relaxation armchairs surround a huge fire timbale burning in the fireproofed hull of the vessel. We feel like in a subaquatic cockpit with delicate golden reflections. We access naturally to this garden from a soft and circular banister that spreads under the planted vault around flames. We can admire the floating line dancing under its sinusoidal volutes as well as the fauna and the flora of the middle through the two panoramic glass portholes. It is a space dedicated to the permanent exhibitions on the aquatic ecosystems.

-The Air garden: is a space of oxygen and light that spreads under a pneumatophorous lens. Actually, this ecologic amphitheatre opened towards the exterior landscape, towards the cities organised with chisels under an oblong ear of pneumatic and photovoltaic cushions. In the centre, we find H2O acronym extruded under the shape of a circular and rotating water bar such as a theatre stage. It is the meeting and debate point by excellence, a true citizen forum where we meet to reinvent the world and decide of the eco-political strategies of tomorrow!

Man is in the centre of this bionic project that recommends the balance between the human actions and the respect of environment. The architecture of this nomadic place, powerful concentrate of nature, of biotechnologies and information and communication technologies is thus the simple reflect of the contemporary citizen who wonders about the actions to conduct on its environment. It is an audacious avant-garde project that aims at mixing people around the notion of water respect, sharing in movement and dynamic balance. After the Copenhagen conference, it is a project of transeuropean leadership and a positive innovation of ecologic resilience.

Vincent Callebaut Architect

TEXTE FRANCAIS

PHYSALIA, UN JARDIN AMPHIBIEN PURIFIANT LES VOIES NAVIGABLES EUROPEENNES

LEAU, UN BIEN COMMUN A LECHELLE PLANETAIRE !

Plus dun milliard dhommes na pas accs leau potable. Trois mille personnes meurent par jour pour avoir consomm de leau pollue. Leau nest donc vraiment pas une marchandise, elle devrait appartenir tous ! De nombreuses ONG ainsi que le PNUD (Programme des Nations Unies pour le Dveloppement) militent pour lide que leau est un bien commun . Elle doit ainsi tre lobjet dune rflexion et dune gestion diffrente, non marchande, articulant les organismes publics et privs aussi bien dans les cadres nationaux et rgionaux qu lchelle mondiale au sein de lONU ou dune nouvelle institution spcialise ad hoc .

Mme en tenant compte de laugmentation de la population mondiale (9.2 milliards lhorizon 2050 suivant lONU), la quantit deau douce accessible en surface reprsente 40 000 km3 par an. Le monde ne consommant aujourdhui que 5500 km3 deau (dont 70% pour lagriculture, 20% pour lindustrie et 10% pour la consommation domestique), cela couvre largement les besoins des socits plantaires. Contrairement aux ides reues, ce nest donc pas la quantit deau naturelle qui compte, mais bien la capacit des socits de construire les accs leau potable rpartie ingalement sur la surface du globe surtout entre nord et sud. En effet, seul neuf pays se partageant 60% du dbit annuel mondial !

Cest dans ce cadre quil faut comprendre lappel fait lors du Forum Mondial de lEau Istanbul, dbut mars 2009?: Les ressources consacres leau sont minuscules compares aux sommes investies dans la lutte contre les missions de gaz effet de serre ou la crise financire (). Leau devrait tre au cur des politiques agricoles, nergtiques, de sant, dinfrastructures dducation (). Les gestionnaires de leau en sont convaincus, mais ce ne sont pas eux qui prennent les dcisions. Cest aux chefs dtat et de gouvernement de semparer du sujet.? (Olcay nver, coordinateur du rapport final du forum dIstanbul).

BOIRE ET BOUGER PROPRE POUR TOUS ?

Au sein de la rflexion europenne sur ladaptation au changement climatique et du constat de la dgradation qualitative et quantitative des ressources en eau, lapprovisionnement pour tous en eau potable et la relance du transport par voies navigables (faible metteur de CO2) apparaissent comme les deux nouveaux dfis cologiques et mondiaux relatifs leau. En 2009, des ministres de 120 pays, des scientifiques et des militants cologistes, ont particip Istanbul au Forum Mondial de l'Eau (voqu ci-dessus) pour tudier les moyens de prvenir une crise de leau qui, selon lONU et le Conseil mondial de l'eau, affectera prs de la moiti de la population mondiale dici 2030.

Dans ce contexte, le projet Physalia se prsente comme un prototype architectural qui vise rpondre la ncessit de mutualisation des connaissances en matire de gestion durable de la ressource en eau. Cest un vaisseau amphibien, mi aquatique et mi-terrestre, une agora flottante qui a non seulement pour objectif lchelle gopolitique de conjuguer cologie et conomie deau, mais aussi lchelle europenne dlaborer des solutions stratgiques pour dynamiser le rseau fluvial. Vritable laboratoire hydrodynamique nomade, destin tisser un rseau international de partenariats scientifiques, Physalia dveloppera galement de nouveaux prototypes de ressources environnementales et exposera ltat des recherches les plus avances en cette matire :

En termes de consommation deau : les conomies d'eau, la recharge des nappes, la matrise et le recyclage des eaux pluviales, le recyclage des eaux domestiques et industrielles, lassainissement des pollutions dorigine agricole (nitrates, phytosanitaires), le dessalement de leau de mer, la gestion des zones humides, la concurrence ville-agriculture, et au passage la valorisation de tous les dchets induits (boues, cendres, etc).

En termes de transport par voie navigable : la promotion des voies navigables (transports fluviaux et commerciaux, production dhydro-lectricit, irrigation agricole, protection contre les crues, refroidissement des centrales industrielles, nautisme, etc.), llaboration de politiques damnagements des sites situs proximit de leurs abords, lamlioration de la performance environnementale, linvestissement social dans le capital humain, et la mise en uvre des grands projets prioritaires du renforcement du rseau transeuropen de transports commerciaux et de tourisme fluvial comme laxe fluvial reliant le Rhin et le Danube et le canal fluvial Seine-Escaut.

Physalia est donc un quipement scientifique novateur vou mettre en place des champs dinvestigation tout aussi novateurs ! Cest un navire propre , nouvelle gnration, une station dpuration flottante, un outil de promotion cologique mission de soufre et de carbone zro destin sensibiliser les populations !

UN PNEUMATOPHORE AQUATIQUE EPURANT LES FLEUVES ET CANAUX !

Physalia est un navire 100% autosuffisant en nergie dont la structure bionique est inspire du pneumatophore du mme nom Physalia physalis , du grec phusalis qui signifie bulle d'eau . Tout comme ce pneumatophore aquatique le projet se distingue par sa symtrie parfaite, par sa forme oblongue et par son aspect translucide. Cest un condens de nature et de biotechnologies destin naviguer au fil des principaux fleuves extra-europens entre le Danube et la Volga, entre le Rhin et le Guadalquivir, ou bien encore entre lEuphrate et le Tigre. Cest une invitation potique au voyage, une exprience sensorielle destine la recherche transdisciplinaire, aux dbats gopolitiques, la pdagogie populaire et par consquent lmergence dune avant-garde cologique sur le thme de leau! Cest un lieu charismatique, une abstraction de paysage ouvert sur le monde et brassant les cultures europennes travers un assemblage spatial innovant. Cest un cosystme ractif son environnement, un fragment de terre vivante, invitant la faune et la flore de la biodiversit fluviale venir y faire son nid dans la ville !

Son architecture, mission de carbone zro, est co-conue partir des nergies renouvelables pour en faire un prototype nergie positive, c'est--dire produisant plus dnergie quil nen consomme ! Ainsi, son toit est par dune double membrane pneumatique cisele de cellules solaires photovoltaques souples tandis que sous sa coque, les hydroliennes transforment lnergie du courant fluvial en hydro-lectricit et permettent dajuster la navigation douce. Sa surface est constitue daluminium enveloppant la structure en acier multicoque. Cette robe argente est recouverte dune couche de TiO2 sous forme anatase, qui en ragissant aux rayons ultra-violets, permettent de rduire la pollution de leau. En effet, en plus dtre un vaisseau autonettoyant, cela permet dabsorber et de recycler par effet photo-catalytique les rsidus chimiques et carbons des eaux fluviales rejets par les embarcations traditionnelles et par les industries. De plus, le projet est innerv au sein de sa double coque par un rseau hydraulique qui permet de filtrer leau fluviale et de la purifier biologiquement grce sa toiture vgtalise.

Lorsque le systme darrosage automatique se met en action lheure bleue, larchitecture sefface au profit dune atmosphre. En effet, le projet se mtamorphose en un nuage de brume au contour vanescent. La Physalie devient ds lors un espace dvaporation parfume qui semble lover en son sein les visiteurs en suspend. Larchitecture de ce navire futuriste rvle un quilibre parfait entre les masses en porte--faux le plaant en lgre sustentation sur la surface de leau. Les lignes courbes sont pures et nerveuses. Elles dressent avec lgance le caractre innovant et stylis du lieu.

UNE SCENOGRAPHIE DECLINEE EN QUATRES JARDINS THEMATQIUES.

La scnographie intrieure de Physalia orchestre le dbat sur lavenir de leau en quatre jardins thmatiques ddis respectivement chacun des quatre lments apportant par symbiose leur typicit et leur complmentarit lassemblage final dun paysage global amphibien :

Le jardin Eau : marque lentre principale de la Physalie entre les quais daccostage et le parvis. Une grande plateforme en verre est en suspension au dessus de la surface de leau refltant ainsi sur la vote intrieure la causticit des flots. Cet espace de rception ddi aux expositions temporaires vibre sous lapesanteur et danse sous les reflets de la lumire. Les faades de ce vritable balcon aquatique peuvent aussi souvrir totalement sur le paysage fluvial et laisser respirer lespace vers lextrieur caress par la brise fluviale.

Le jardin Terre : constitue le cur du laboratoire ddi aux chercheurs internationaux qui analysent lcosystme aquatique travers par le bateau. Au dessus de cette salle panoramique se dresse une voute vgtale, mtaphore fertile de la terre filtrant les eaux de pluies. Cette vote dessine un paysage suspendu qui senroule autour dun anneau central de postes de travail et danalyse molculaire.

Le jardin Feu : est un salon sous-marin, confin et protecteur, vritablement hors du temps. Les moelleux fauteuils de dtente y encerclent une grande timbale de feu flambant dans la coque ignifuge du navire. On se croirait dans un cockpit subaquatique aux reflets dor dlicats. On y accde naturellement depuis une rampe douce et circulaire qui se dploie sous la vote vgtale autour des flammes. On peut y admirer la ligne de flottaison dansant sous ses volutes sinusodales ainsi que la faune et la flore du milieu travers les deux hublots de verres panoramiques. Cest un espace ddi aux expositions permanentes sur les cosystmes aquatiques.

Le jardin Air : est un espace doxygne et de lumire qui se dploie sous une lentille pneumatophore. En effet, cest sous un pi oblong de coussins pneumatiques et photovoltaques que vient sorganiser en gradins cet amphithtre cologique ouvert vers le paysage extrieur, vers les villes. Au centre, on retrouve le cigle H2O, extrud sous forme dun bar eau circulaire et rotatif comme une scne de thtre. Cest le lieu de rencontre et de dbat par excellence, cest un vritable forum citoyen o lon se retrouve pour rinventer le monde et tablir les stratgies colo-politiques de demain !

LHomme est au centre de ce projet bionique qui prne lquilibre entre les actions humaines et le respect de lenvironnement. Larchitecture de ce lieu nomade, puissant concentr de nature, de biotechnologies et de technologies de linformation et de la communication est donc le simple reflet du citoyen contemporain qui sinterroge sur les actions mener sur son environnement. Cest un projet davant-garde audacieux qui vise mtisser les peuples autour de la notion de respect de leau, de partage en mouvement et dquilibre dynamique. A lheure du sommet de Copenhague, cest un projet de leadership transeuropen et une innovation positive de rsilience cologique !

Vincent Callebaut Architecte