Famed Architecture Firm Turns Entire Island Into Eco Village For Fashion Label
By Alexa Heah, 25 May 2023
Bjarkes Ingels Group has teamed up with fellow architecture firm FBM to create ‘Vollebak Island’, a sustainable, miniature village in Nova Scotia, Canada, named after the eponymous fashion brand. The entire site comprises natural and artificial materials in an innovative, carbon-neutral design.
Spread over 11 acres, the micro-site features materials not commonly used in construction, such as eelgrass, hempcrete, glass brick, local stone, wood, and 3D-printed concrete. It’s located just a quarter of a mile from the port of Jeddore and 50 minutes from Halifax Airport.
Come June 8, 2023, fans of the project will be able to bid for it through a Sotheby’s auction to receive permits to go ahead with the plan. The main highlight, dubbed the Earth House, will be made up of nine interconnected buildings situated in a village-like cluster.
In addition, a smaller Wood House will serve as an independent suite, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms out on the eastern shoreline of the island. Offshore wind, geothermal energy, and solar power will help power 100% of the island via Tesla Powerwalls.
As for sustenance, a greenhouse will be built to grow food, while other plants and shrubs will be integrated into the roofs of the buildings to reduce rainwater runoff and ease the pressure on the island’s sewers and water treatment systems.
Visitors can choose to drop by a Japanese-style bathhouse to enjoy a dip in soaking tubs cut from stone bedrock or look to the skies in the sunken hempcrete stargazing room and meditation space. The boat house will follow the local tradition of using seaweed to replace insulation.
“Vollebak is using technology and material innovation to create clothes that are sustainable and resilient as they are beautiful. In other words, the fashion equivalent of BIG’s architectural philosophy of Hedonistic Sustainability,” explained Founder Bjarke Ingels.
“For Vollebak Island, we have imagined the rooms as a manmade mount of individual volumes rising out from the ground and a separate outpost at the edge of the breaking waves,” he added.
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