The intervention consists of reinvesting the polder with a sustainable approach to urban planning, respecting the landscape and its context, and satisfying the needs of a metropolis in expansion such as Rotterdam, turning it into a metropolitan bio-park, introducing a productive reality (biofuel from micro-algae and by-products), favouring local activities (agriculture and breeding) and satisfying local demands on different levels (energy production, CO2 reduction and short-stay living units).
Exploiting the artificiality of the polder (intended as a landscape type and considered as natural machine), its structure and its water system, it becomes an hybrid in between a park and an industry, harvesting micro algae on large scale open-ponds, in order to produce vast amount of bio fuel recycling the industrial gas emissions.
Polder Schieveen is developed as study case, taking advantage of the existing CO2 storage-network (developed by Shell and Rotterdam Climate Initiative) that would ensure, passing underneath it, a continuous supply of CO2 to be processed by the new system, realising oxygen in the atmosphere. As first development, here different types of algae will be tested in order to address the production with the optimal species; this will result in a surrealistic new waterscape characterized by colourful water-ponds, reminding of the now rare-to-see typical dutch fields grown of tulips.
At this stage the polder, beside his green and productive side, has a great potential as attraction, therefore the decision of establishing a diffused hotel, renting “rooms spread in the new landscape” for short-time stays; the nearness to the airport ensures visibility (from the plane) and the need itself of receptivity in the very next surrounding of the new Business Park.
The project speaks of transformation and renewal, and shows that in a fragile site like a polder, in which historical value makes one hesitate between conservation and development, the risks of future and the changes it involves can be assumed, and something valuable be built: a positive addition without distorting things, allowing a gradual settlement of the new infrastructure, without upsetting the existing activities, but reinforcing them instead (recycling by-products and waste of bio-production).
This new “infrastructural establishment” proposed could be defined as a technological landscape, a biological machine that employs the same micro organisms that colonised this land once it was still part of the sea. Neither architecture nor landscape in the traditional sense: a surrealistic atmosphere and context while producing a self-sustaining ecology of global utility covering the site.