• Laurel Run, PA
• Ongoing research project
• 50,000 acres
• Organized by UCLA City Lab
• Komanda Project Team - Collaboration between EMA and GA: Edward Mitchell, Douglas Gauthier; Amy Change, Lucia Eastman, Kristina Kesler, Mara Kravitz, Craig Rosman
• Selected Media: Material Evidence; TATLIN Magazine
WPA 2.0 proposes greenhouses that use heat from underground fires to produce biofuel, flowers, vegetables, other market-absorbable growing opportunities. The site is located on a major East Coast thoroughfare, providing easy access for commercial transport.
The entire area is gridded with access piping to provide release for the heat trapped below. A series of lightweight, grid-shell greenhouses tie in to the pipes and form a cistern that allows the heat to move up and through all of the greenhouses and provides enough pressure to run a sprinkler system. Given the directionality of the heat source, the pipes concentrate increasingly as they near the center of the cistern, producing central hot, tropical conditions and more temperate ones moving away from the center of each greenhouse.
The fires will move over time and the greenhouses are lightweight and moveable so as to move with the fires. They are made of light, flat wood that is woven together and lifted into place much like an umbrella. A low-cost, Tyvek skin is applied to provide structural stability and to retain the heat for the greenhouse. The greenhouses become a sort of rescue mission, transforming scorched earth into a new, viable ecosystem. The compost and other byproducts of the four-season growing system will leave a verdant soil system and a single season growth. There are some 50,000 acres of land that could be agriculturally remediated in this process.