off architecture: bering strait project
off architecture: bering strait project off architecture: bering strait project
sep 03, 2009

off architecture: bering strait project

the bering strait all images courtesy off architecture

french firm off architecture received second prize for their project as part of the bering strait competition.

the bering strait is a sea strait between russia and alaska, is one of the biggest of its kind. a threshold between the arctic and pacific oceans, the strait manifests a highly fragile and sensitive climate, linked to the fabrication of ice, acting as a strategic zone for global climate. an incredibly particular ecosystem connected to the surrounding climate is composed of very rare and fragile species which includes belugas, walrus, polar bears, blue whales, dolphins, and orcas, to name a few.

for their design they did not simply propose a bridge or railway link, but decided to create an active project sensitive to the conditions of the site.

plan of the structure

due to the straits relatively shallow water levels; the proposed structure is able to descend to the bottom of the ocean, with only a few meters floating above the water level. the structure works in compression. two parallel walls cut through the adjacent bodies of water, held apart with bracing, which at times is habitable. each wall, 10 meters wide, respectfully provides train and vehicle infrastructures at its apex. the massive structure requires simplicity, a trait only achieved with a direct line that connects the two sides of the strait.

plan of the structure

interior of the structure

detail of elevation of the structure

detail of elevation of the structure

detail of elevation of the structure

interior of the structure

sections of the structure

elevation of the diomede island

acting as a viewing platform, the entirety of the sublime landscape can be witnessed, experienced and respected. a powerful place where time dissolves, past and future amalgamate and only the existing landscape reigns.

the structure splits the diomedes in two. a hermetic city, built into the 400 meter high island, pierces the façade of the cut, comprised of residences, theatres and cultural centres. a fractal view of a submerged city can be seen as pedestrians travel across the strait, giving birth to a vertical city. a new mode of living is established. due to the innate thermal mass of the subterranean rock, the diverse program is attributed natural heating and cooling qualities. the surface of the diomede is uncovered with the rift of habitation below.

elevation of the diomede island

connecting the two diomedes is a 50m wide opening created by the structure, a series of 10 meter by 10 meter modular cubes, faced with a polished reflective metal, delicately float above the waters surface.

elevation of the diomede island

interior of ‘diomedes’

the peace park’s form is as symbolic to the past as it is to the future. the notion of time and temporality becomes central; its unstable and transient nature is mirrored in the ice that engulfs the site. fragile floating pieces of ice, known as pancake ice, maintain a strong presence. they are constantly in collision with each other, until they transform into circular form, and later solidify to create a continuous field of ice. this phenomenon is the basis for the minimal footbridge connecting the little and big diomedes.

‘peace park’ footbridge

‘peace park’ footbridge

  • too cool

    el says:
  • to beautiful…and expensive, but its fun to dream:)

    Alexander says:
  • this is real imagination of space

    personchen says:
  • the straits should be connected long before, now humanbings should do it , we maybe have the money now .

    helen says:
  • wow !!! this architects are crazy, i like the way they think the future of bring, very refreshing .
    keep going OFF architecture

    isomede says:
  • brilliant design thinking.

    S/M says:
  • fresh and explorating//// but we’re just a human???
    the risk is to big…
    mmm.. i guess??

    gilbert says:

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