The Eco-boulevard: Cooling public spaces through “air trees”
The Ecoboulevard is an interesting idea by the young architecture firm “Ecosistema Urbano” (also involved in the Philadelphia Urban Voids program). The project got one of the first prizes at this year Architectural Review (AR) Awards for Emerging Architecture.
The neighborhood of Vallecas, in Madrid (Spain) was looking for innovative ways to have more social activitity in the streets and more greenery at the same time. The winning project was the Ecoboulevard.
The idea is simple (see picture): a round structure in public square that acts like a nursery with “air trees” going up providing shade and cooling the atmosphere. These “mini-forests” are ‘easily dismantled and energetically self-sufficient’, as they are connected to solar panels at the top of the structure to be used in social gatherings and events.
When the metallic structures are no longer reliant on air conditioning, they can be disassembled, and left as ‘clearings’ in the urban forest. The AR judges liked the combination of ideas: the tree, the container in which it might sit, solar power and the flow of air through a given structure, with a visually impressive appearance.