The greenlighthouse project was derived from a series of design principles that were found to be most appropriate for the chosen site and for the surrounding community. Essentially, the basis for the design spans from the idea of collectivity, the importance of greening the site and a desire to illustrate the often incomprehensible effects of climate change. With these principles in mind, the greenlighthouse emerged as a likely focal point and tool to communicate these ideas.
Standing at 5 metres tall, the greenlighthouse will be constructed out of double-paned tempered glass and serve as a gathering place for the local community. Its stature and the use of LEDs at the top of the structure, as well as inside, will help to increase safety at night. It will also contain a self-sufficient heating and watering system to keep the plants thriving inside. In addition to the heating and watering system, there will be solar panels installed at the top of the greenlighthouse (to power the LEDs), as well as a ventilation system to help excess heat escape the enclosure during the summer. To ensure that vitality of the plants inside the glass structure during winter, the same ventilation system will be used to introduce heat from the adjacent metro system into the greenhouse.
To help drive the principle of collectivity, the livelihood of the plants inside the greenlighthouse depends on people taking public transit, since each swipe of an OPUS card on the bus line will be directly linked to the self-sufficient watering/heating system of the installation. This creates a collective engagement and ownership of the structure to ensure that the plants inside are thriving, even throughout the toughest weather conditions. Furthermore, the greenlighthouse will be used as a unit of measurement to help illustrate the increasing impacts of people on the environment. The goal is to use the structure as a visual reference to help turn the abstraction of large quantities and volumes of harmful greenhouse gases into reality, or something more comprehensible. To do so, ridership is tracked through OPUS card swipes on the same bus line linked to the care of the greenlighthouse and the accumulation of data is projected onto the existing wall of the Langelier metro station. To aid people in visualizing their carbon footprint, the increasing number of CO2 saved by the riders of the bus line will be projected. As an example: the projection would display the accumulated number and state "this week, riders of bus #33 have saved X amount of CO2". On the longer wall behind the existing bus shelter, a green wall will be used to project the numbers in comparison to the volume of the greenlighthouse. For example, the corresponding number of greenlighthouses would illustrate information such as the total emissions of greenhouse gases caused by vehicles in Canada on a daily basis. This visualization of data helps make the abstract concepts of climate change more relatable and tangible, since the physical scale and presence of the greenlighthouse can be experienced at the stop. Since riders tend to wait for the bus inside the adjacent metro station during colder weather or rainy days, it is also important not to obstruct the view of the greenlighthouse and the space from inside. As a result, one of the projections on the small wall remains visible through the window, as well as part of the greenlighthouse.
Lastly, the principle of greening the existing space is paramount to the design?s success. By installing the green/living wall behind the bus shelter, as well as planting the vines inside the greenlighthouse structure, there will be a clear increase in the aesthetic qualities of the space compared to the current concrete and asphalt. Additionally, the installation of these living, green organisms will help to reduce the urban heat island effect and provide riders with a much more comforting atmosphere.
A proposal that is conceivable regardless of the season. The idea of an urban terrarium, which can appear as an element of urban place-marker disconnected from its context, is nevertheless connected to the metro station in an astute way. The information exchange regarding the reduction of GHG'sthrough the use of the bus is done in a ludic manner and will therefore appeal to all ages.
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- Presentation Panel