Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng
wins Foster + Partners Prize 2012

| 8 comments
More:
Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Architectural Association student Yvonne Weng has won the 2012 Foster + Partners Prize with designs that would allow scientists to live in the treetops of the Amazon rainforest.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

The prize is presented annually to the AA diploma student whose final project best addresses themes of sustainability and infrastructure.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Weng's proposals are for a series of lightweight pods and platforms where scientists can study and harvest the medicinal plants of the jungle.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Research laboratories would be contained inside a series of suspended pods that can be lowered to the ground when necessary, while a second set of pods would provide living quarters.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

A web of synthetic fibres and steel supports would hold each of the pods in place and provide a solid canopy above the trees.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Last year's prize was awarded to a sanitation infrastructure concept in Haiti by graduate Aditya Aachi.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

We previously published another concept for a treetop research centre - see it here.

Here's some more information from Foster + Partners:


The Architectural Association Foster + Partners Prize 2012

The Architectural Association and Foster + Partners are pleased to announce the award of the Foster + Partners Prize, which is presented annually to the AA Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure. The recipient is selected jointly by the AA and Foster + Partners at the end of each academic year.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Click above for larger image

This year’s prize has been awarded to Yvonne Weng, of Diploma Unit 17, for her project ‘The 6th Layer – Explorative Canopy Trail’. Set in the context of Brazilian Amazon rainforest, the project recognizes the reciprocal relationship between humanity and the forest and sees the forest as a natural infrastructure to work with, instead of against.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Click above for larger image

The design focuses on creating an ultra-lightweight, self-sustaining and easily deployable architectural system, which occupies the space at the top of the tree canopies. The extra layer of space created opens up a new territory that inspires new ways in which to perceive, occupy and experience the forest.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Click above for larger image

Yvonne Weng, and the other six shortlisted candidates, will be invited to exhibit their work in the gallery in Foster + Partners’ studio in October, when there will be a formal reception and a cheque will be presented. The themes of sustainability and infrastructure that underpin the award were selected to highlight themes of common interest to the AA and Foster + Partners and for their significance in contemporary architectural discourse more globally.

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Click above for larger image

Mouzhan Majidi, Chief Executive of Foster + Partners, said:
“This is the third year we have awarded this prize and in Yvonne Weng’s project we see it gaining strength. We hope very much that the debate this prize generates will encourage students to address themes that are of increasing relevance to architecture today.”

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

 Click for larger image above

Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, said:
“The AA School is delighted once again to have participated in the judging of the Foster + Partners Prize. The work of this year’s winner indicates the enthusiasm and imagination shown by AA Diploma students in addressing challenging, topical issues in architecture. We are grateful to Foster + Partners for their continued support of the prize and the innovative work it encourages.”

Explorative Canopy Trail by Yvonne Weng

Click above for larger image

Yvonne Weng, winner of the 2012 Foster + Partners Prize said:
“Programmatically, the project is centred on scientific exploration and harvesting medicinal plants, which provides an alternative use of the forest without destroying it. At the same time, the positive occupation of the territory it enables could provide a level of surveillance that helps to protect both the endangered environment and the indigenous population.”

  • Vampire

    Very inspiring project idea + beautiful visuals. Congratulations!

  • http://chenoiserie.com Chen

    Great project, great person and great inspiration!

  • chintan pathak

    Awesome work… and good coverage. Would like to know more about the structural details.

  • mlk

    Really interesting concept.

  • hyoog

    Is this something the science community are asking for? If so then great, although it isn't particularly original (Marks Barfield to name one example). If not it looks like an attempt to shoe-horn a 'me-too' concept into an over-stuffed and under-used box of similar ideas.

  • chaka

    Gilles Ebersolt’s Solvin Pretzel?

  • Birgitte JH

    Very beautiful project! Conceptually it's very inspiring. However I don't understand what makes the project hover – it's flying? It would be interesting to know more about the structutal solutions that have been solved. Practically I wonder if it would be better to make a more closed mesh, not allowing birds to pass through, since I suspect it would actually be a perfect 'bird-net', trapping and killing birds like flies in a spiderweb or fish in fish nets.

  • Gilles Ebersolt

    http://gizmodo.com/5833370/the-ecologists-instant

    Beautifully rendered re-hashing of an existing concept. Still it would be sweet to try out. Lose the testicle nets though.