HM of Cyclist House
+ HONOURABLE MENTION
Stems – Cycles of decontamination from the roots up
Name: Estelle + Contant
Nationality: Canadian (Quebec)
As gas stations withdraw from North American metropolitan centres, they leave behind contaminated soil and empty lots. These well-situated sites languish, unusable, waiting to be decontaminated. However, traditional decontamination is a long and expensive process, and as a result, these lots remain alienated from the communities they should serve, possibly for years.
Stems is a transitory project that aims to create an urban cyclist hub in an existing vacant gas station, thereby revitalizing a forgotten parcel of land. On site, citizens will find a collective bike workshop in the kiosk. At the former fuel dispensers, they will have access to tire pumps and self-service repair tools. Transitory in nature, Stems follows the cycle of decontamination; when the space is needed for a new project, Stems will move to another abandoned gas station and set up shop there.
This project aims to start the decontamination process through phytoremediation: a technique that uses plants to extract pollutants from contaminated ground. It allows the ground to be purified while creating a welcoming environment for the cycling community and fighting against urban heat islands. By creating community value in a space throughout the process of decontamination, Stems proves that though all good things take time, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the ride.
- Elina Kritikou | EKKY STUDIO
I really appreciated the idea of changing a gas station (a simple of contamination of the soil) into a green park for the cyclists to gather. Using the vegetation to help the soil recovery serves 100% this projects intention. Well done.
- Patrick Meijers | Orange Architects
A simple but yet powerful idea to clean up the soil and host a bicycle community. The question if these abandoned petrol stations are to far from the urban areas and the roots of the plants go deep enough to clean the oil residues.