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Stems

HM of Cyclist House

+ HONOURABLE MENTION

Cyclist House

[6605]

Stems – Cycles of decontamination from the roots up

Team

Name: Estelle + Contant

Instagram: @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. 



Jury Comments

  • 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.

Responses

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