In August this year, a design competition was launched to generate ideas to repurpose Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport after its planned closing in a couple of years.
According to the organizers, “the coming availability of 126 hectares of space with a flat topography, located in the midst of a consolidated area, which thanks to the decision of the Quito Metropolitan Council, will be transformed into a park, constitutes an exceptional event and a unique opportunity. This leads us to rethink the city and to take advantage of the opportunity to set forth solutions to multiple issues linked to: changes in the use and building capacity of land; improvement in mobility and transversal connectivity; expansion of infrastructure; provision of green areas and public spaces; improvement in environmental conditions, recovery of urban landscapes and environment; improvement of the quality of life of present and future inhabitants of the city.”
Per the competition brief, water has to be central element in the design. After all, the organizers refer to the future park as Parque del Lago.
In response, Paisajes Emergentes flooded the 3-kilometer runway to create an “active hydrologic park,” which they then partitioned into 6 programmatically discrete areas.
At the north end of the park are wetlands. These bioremediate water redirected from the south end of the park after having run its course through this outrageously elongated pool.
Relatively clean water from the wetlands is then used to fill an open air aquarium. The tanks here contain fluvial species from tropical ecosystems.
An aquatic botanical garden comes next in this hydrological assembly line. Whereas the faunal variety is showcased in the aquarium, tropical plants are the main attractions here, though both are equally essential to maintain any kind of a robust ecosystem.
From there, water moves into circular water tanks, where it is mechanically oxygenated and filtrated. and the organic material coming from the botanical garden is removed from water. Pedestrian walkways involve people with process that are usually is hidden in every city.
pools and thermal baths. Clean water is used to fill the public pools and thermal baths. a combination of eolic and solar energy is used to heat the acuatic complex..
Finally, we come to a recreational lake, where the water is collected in subterranean tanks to satisfy the need of irrigation systems and general maintenance of the park before.
Additional activities are also programmed adjacent to this central pool. For instance, the old terminal building is turned into a convention center. Soft materials and walls are removed, and the remaining forest of columns confine 3 theaters inside hanging gardens.
Open air aviation museum.
“...my favorit building of the XX century is the Boeing 747” Norman Foster.
All over the golf field diverse planes from obsolete ecuatorial fleet now appear scattered.
this area is then colonised spontaneously by wetland species.
water from the botanical garden is guided through canals to specific spots where the spontaneous vegetation is predicted to grow.
Open air theater / rain water collector.
Surprisingly adaptable, it's a space attuned to the temporal vagaries of climate, the fluctuating rate of water consumption and the cultural preferences of Quito's residents.