student: Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient India, the Fertile Crescent. These are just some of the great river civilizations.
The Linth valley is an artificially drained and pumped valley using the pumping stations and the canals on either side of the Linth canal to do so. In the next decade the cost of the pumping and draining will exceed the revenue from the agriculture in the area. If pumping were to stop then some areas would transform into flooded marshes and would not be viable for use. My concept is to reimagine the area surrounding the Linth canal, transform it from a single functional element, to a multi-functional entity.
Looking at the area between the Obersee and the Walnsee I was able to see that the areas flooded were left and right of the Linth canal. Also by analyzing the urban growth from the years 1860 to 2014 I could see that farms and towns were being built closer and closer to the valley. With this data I decided to focus to the right of the Linth canal, near the town of Uznach. The first step was to assume that the pumping would stop. Since there would inevitably be a flood in the agricultural lands, I decided to create a lake. This lake would attract many different people with different needs. Using height maps, I traced the areas that would flood if the water table moved up two meters, and designated the edges as the lakes farthest most boundaries. The second step was to supply this lake with enough clean water for people to use. This meant that I would have to use the water from the Linth canal, as it carries no sediments and to determine a location for a deviation from the canal to the lake. This also meant that I could designate a natural filtration area for the side canals. Analyzing the height maps determined the optimum area of deviation, where there would be no backflow and not too far from the lake, I deduced it would be at the draining and pumping station. The exit point for the water would be at Böschkanal.
To create this lake, the area between the edges would have to be dug up. The depot would serve to level the imagined areas surrounding the lake. The depot would be approximately one million cubic meters of soil. This information, along with a set perimeter between the highway and Linth canal, which also acted as a grid generator, as my constraints, I imagined the spaces that could exist around the lake. The first proposal imagines the area as a mix between open public spaces and built areas, with the built spaces occupying 69% of the leveled area. The lake would cover the entire area between the edges and be mostly shallow. The second proposal shows an area with a more active language and 85% of built space. In this proposal the lake has a smaller area with a deeper lakebed. The third proposal shows the area as a modified version of what it is now. The area would be mostly agricultural and the built space would only occupy 50% of the leveled area. The lake would have the smallest area but would also have the deepest lakebed. In the first two alternatives the area of middle relative height is used mostly for parks and recreational areas, while in the third alternative it acts as the agricultural land. In order to keep the lake water level consistent the Linth deviation would have to block and slow most of the water down before entering the lake. By conducting an experiment using a large-scale milled model of the deviation and actual water, I was able to get real time results of various interventions to slow the water down.
The three alternates I designed are not a set absolute. They could be mixed with each other or there could be many other alternates that would work in the area. The lake acts as a generator for many different ideas…