The building is situated at the northern
most point of the Emeryville Marina Park on a mound of soil that is
rarely used by visitors. Structurally, it is constructed of lime-based
concrete that emits oxygen instead of carbon dioxide. It is insulated
with recycled paper pulp and water-based glue. It has an internal
water-cleaning system using native bacteria-eating water plants contained
in a wetlands system within the building. Visitors can see and touch
the system to experience how nature can act as a miraculous cleaning
device. The dirty water from the Bay is drawn into the west side of
the building, circulates in wetlands inside the building and then
is pumped out as clean water to the east side marine area. In essence,
the Nature and Humanity Center acts as a water cleaning “machine.”
To minimize the use of fossil fuels
there will be only a minimum of car parking spaces available at the
Center as required by building code. Tours are arranged by charter
bus transportation. Primary arrival transportation is by Emery-Go-Round,
bicycle and walking.
TECHNOLOGY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
The Nature and Humanity Center building
features a continuous roof of hexagonal-shaped photovoltaic solar
panels placed at varying angles to the east, south and westerly sun.
It also features two cylindrical truss structures that contain windmills
for electrical power generation. The combined power generation of
the photovoltaic panels and the windmills is enough to provide renewable
electrical power to the building itself, the entire marina, the marina
buildings, the park, the fire station, the police station and local
businesses in the area.
A meandering, looping series of steel
pipe sheathed in copper patina surrounds the building with an artistic
sense of humor and playfulness. However, this green-colored piping
is a passive solar water collector that supplies hot water to the
building and its interior environments. Underground pipes, extending
from the main green pipes, are placed at the west side of the building
to warm the grassy areas in the spring and fall months and provide
an envelope of warmth during open stage presentations.
Primarily constructed of reinforced
concrete, the building is fireproof and features roof panels that
open for smoke evacuation, and an exterior and interior water immersion
system that engulfs the building’s walls in water, making it
virtually fireproof and minimizing harm to the interior contents.
The Nature and Humanity Center has a
community education program involving an ongoing lecture series featuring
prominent speakers whose work utilizes nature-based principles: scientists,
artists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, architects, designers,
musicians, authors and many others. The Center has classes, which
will be a part of the Emery School curriculum, for teaching nature’s
processes, design, materials, habitats and environmental issues. Seasonally
changing exhibits explain the natural wonders of the region and the
possibilities of applying nature’s principles to human endeavors.
Guided tours will take persons through the workings of the building
as well as the laboratory, classrooms, exhibits and lecture areas.
The construction of the building will
involve students and interested members of the community. What better
way to learn about ecological design than to be directly engaged in
its use. An inflatable membrane procedure will be employed to create
the form of the building. This will be the first use of this process
in the Bay Area. Many new kinds of construction methods will be applied.
OPEN AIR STAGE
In the spring, summer and fall months,
the west side of the building can be opened for outdoor lectures,
music gatherings and educational activities.
The Center contains spaces for classrooms,
a research and development laboratory, exhibition space, a lecture
hall with 140 seats, two offices, lavatories, interior constructed
wetlands, souvenir shop, storage, mechanical room for viewing ecological
technologies in action, foyer with information desk and lobby/entrance
area. There are viewing areas for the windmills, constructed wetlands
and passive solar pipes from within the building.
Staff consists of:
Director, secretary, 4 researchers/teachers,
2 education instructors, 2 tour guides, information receptionist,
store attendant, custodian/mechanical maintenance monitor/AV person.
Telos Foundation: Non-profit foundation
(501 C3) public education foundation.
General building concept and purpose
has been preliminarily approved by BCDC, April 2006.
SYMBOL OF EMERYVILLE’S FUTURE
The Nature and Humanity Center is designed
to be a symbol of architectural innovation, ecological sustainability,
the sense of community between nature and humanity and human beings
with one another. It is a vision of Emeryville’s future as a
model for social, artistic and educational development in a way that
promotes stewardship and learning from nature in a mutually beneficial
and creative relationship. The Emeryville Marina Nature and Humanity
Center is unlike anything that exists in the world today.
Height of building: 32 feet
Height of passive solar piping: 70 feet
Height of Windmills: 104 feet
Building width: 120 feet
Building length: 108 feet
Building square footage: approximately
8000 square feet