What do you do with a building that died? The Boston Globe asked architects to come up with some solutions for stalled projects around town. Höweler + Yoon Architecture suggest turning a stalled Filenes project into a "temporary vertical algae bio-reactor" with a big robotic arm to "reconfigure the modules to maximize algae growth conditions", but perhaps more importantly, look busy.
The continuous construction on the site will broadcast a subtle semaphore of constructional activity and economic recovery.
It will need the activity; "The central location of the Eco-Pod and the public and visible nature of the research, allows the public to experience the algae growth and energy production processes. " Experiencing algae growth probably gives watching paint dry a run for the money in the excitement department.
This project is getting all the buzz in the blogs like Inhabitat and BDOnline, possibly because of the incredible renderings by Squared Design Lab, which collaborated with Höweler + Yoon. But some of the other projects are impressive:
Travis Ewen, a landscape architect, proposes to create an urban garden on the Filene's site with wind turbines and solar panels to be supported by the existing buildings.
Brad Koerner proposes draping the Filene's site in enormous fabric that would serve as the canvas for supersize LED video screens. The screens could project any number of animations, such as a waterfall, or artists could be commissioned to produce animations that reflect the spirit of the Downtown Crossing area. Flood lights would accent the remaining portions of the structure.
See them all and vote for your favourite at the Boston Globe