In the health care sector, medical intervention refers to the process of stepping in as a health care professional and implementing procedures or application that aid or save the patient. In the architecture industry, architects are mimicking this process, but instead of aiding a sick patient they are stepping in to repair our damaged environments.
This type of architectural intervention entails the use of the built form to encourage the revitalisation of the organic. Man-made organics have been popping up across the international architectural spectrum – including initiatives such as the Sea Tree – and offer to restore environmental health that has been damaged by the very same industry that is now aiding it.
Another way in which architectural intervention is being undertaken through the reclamation of natural environment as seen in the Japanese environmental rehabilitation development Tokachi Millenium Forest.
The competition-winning ‘Inspiration Centre’ located in the Netherlands is another such initiative that is offering to encourage environmental restoration through the construction of a benchmark building. Designed by Dutch architectural firm Paul de Ruiter architects, the building will be located within a coastal reserve close to the North Sea.
The development aims to return a recreational focus to the area, with the building to be situated in the middle of Brouwer’s dam, directly between lake Grevelingen and the ocean. In order to revive the damaged flora and fauna of the area, reconnection must be made between the two bodies of water. The development aims to promote this point, draw attention to the area and work toward rehabilitating the environment.
In terms of the building itself, the centre is a two-part design, including two low-profile ground-level structures and one central elevated tower. The tower acts as a space for optimal ventilation and natural sunlight gain, filling the space with light through its central core. The building’s roofs and walls will be covered in organic growth and grasses in order to both encourage environmental rehabilitation and naturally insulate the building. Aesthetically, the green roofing also contextualises the building, allowing it to visually connect with its organic surroundings.
Subtlety is often key when it comes to developments of this nature. The Inspiration Centre is a prime example of a positive architectural intervention-based structure, as its lack of technological or design complexity means its reliance on its surroundings are limited. This is an example of a less-is-more, ‘do no harm’ structure that focuses on simplistic means of aiding in environmental reclamation and health.