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The Bend Magazine

A Proposal for a Restorative Future: Island House in Laguna Grande, Corpus Christi, Texas

11/10/2020 01:03PM ● By Luis Arjona
By: Luis Arjona   Images Provided By: Office for Political Innovation

Suburban sprawl, Climate Change, rising sea levels, and environmental displacement are issues that consume the general population. However, they also affect the Coastal Bend and overshadow the benefits and luxury of living in the area. Home to beautiful beaches, a research-based institution renowned for environmental work, an array of ecosystems from which we can learn, and a community that aims to preserves the beauty of the Coastal Bend. Though coverage does not meet the frequency of Houston, Austin, or San Antonio, our proximity to the ocean and wildlife is unrivaled.

Office for Political Innovation (OFFPOLINN), an international architecture practice based in New York City and Madrid, Spain, develop projects in different scales and media. Founded by Andres Jaque, their work aims to bring inclusivity into the built environment. By analyzing current conditions and implementing design, research, and critical environmental practices into their work.

Analyzing Laguna Madre in Corpus Christi, Texas, OFFPOLINN, in collaboration with Patrick Craine, offers perspective into what reconciliation ecology can contribute to a form of dwelling on the island. Laguna Madre is one of the biggest wild island-barriers in the world. OFFPOLINN acknowledges the site's importance as a habitat to a variety of mammals and coastal species. Endangered by the ever-growing effects of Climate Change and the malignant threat of acidity increasing in the coastal water incrementally.

The Island House in Laguna Madre is a proposal done by OFFPOLINN and gauges toward an architecture that caters to the environmental diversity of Laguna Madre rather than a home focused on humans. "Island House in Laguna Grande is not designed as an architecture for humans, but built instead to empower the environmental diversity of Laguna Grande. The structure collects and preserves rainwater and, through the mediation of sensors on the ground, sprays water to dilute toxicity and combat drought," a description by the project team of how The Island House operates. The Island House is a structure reinforcing a potential symbiotic relationship. A project where humans and nature can share the surrounding area by encouraging biodiversity and forming a restorative ecology.

Andres Jaque describes The Island House as "…a device that contributes to care for the complex fabric of life the lagoon is composed of." Preserving Laguna Madre with the intent of reusing rainfall to combat varying acidity levels, the house demonstrates a reciprocating relationship with its site. Through the mediation of toxicity and drought, the house serves the surrounding environment more than a structure acting as a container for its inhabitants. Could the future of architecture and engineering be moving towards a more intentional effort to exist in this world?

Learning more about the project was an excellent opportunity to see how the Coastal Bend can be reimagined. Seeing work produced by a project team that illustrates an endearing touch to provide solutions or think of possible futures for an area full of potential makes me happy. The notion of a city being overlooked is not uncommon. Thank you to the project team at OFFPOLINN for the beautiful work. Their website has more information on projects they have worked on around the world. Consider perusing the possibilities of architecture. This firm is an excellent source of how the profession can engage people, environments, and movements.

Project Team:

Roberto González García, Laura Mora, Fabio Andrés Morales, Sebastian BechRavn, Danay Kamdar, Flavio Martella, Jesús Meseguer Cortés, Jorge Noguera Facuseh, Víctor Nouman, Gustavo Parra Rodríguez.

Contact:

officeforpoliticalinnovation.com/