027 The green Desert Mine

Autonomous city system in the Eastern Sahara

Christophe DM Barlieb CDMB Architects + Schlaich Bergermann Solar

www.barlieb.com / www.sbp.de

The winner of a 2007 Grand Prix d’ Architecture award highlights the contemporary return of the grand architectural vision: It is a design for a self-sufficient desert city clustered around the bases of huge thermal chimneys that are capable of recycling heat. Some 1.400 citizens would be concentrated around the towers’ superstructures. By stacking and elevating the city’s functions and properties above the ground the footprint is limited to 1000 sqm thus freeing the surrounding area to function as a “garden”. Sheltered by a translucent double membrane capable of collecting solar energy and transmitting it as thermal energy to the chimneys’ turbines, the garden also functions as a mineral and biological filter system for the city’s black water. Evaporating water is collected from the underside of the membrane and recycled. A drip irrigation system brings more water from nearby hills so that a rich and diverse biosphere can be encouraged alongside crops grown for food. The described updraft power plants are being actually developed by Schlaich Bergermann Solar. They under- took already in 1982 the first attempts to build an updraft power plant in Spain. The difficulty of this construction lies in its hugeness: the ideal chimney would be 1000 up to 2000 meters high.

cdmb architects is a Berlin based architecture design practice concerned with architectural, social and ecological issues. Christophe DM BARLIEB founded the studio in Brooklyn in 1996 to collaborate with artists, architects and institutions in solving design and construction matters and to pursue the research & development of conceptual architectures with computational design tools. Schlaich Bergermann Solar focus on structural engineering. They design, analyse, check and supervise bridges, towers, high-rise structures, long-span roofs, sports- and industrial facilities etc. They work in cooperation with different partners.