Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Green Your Mind: South Korea’s Ecosystem Research Utopia

Green Your Mind: South Korea’s Ecosystem Research Utopia: [ By Delana in Art & Design, Nature & Ecosystems, Science & Research. ]

Studying and learning about the world we live in is a priority for scientists across many disciplines, and having the perfect place to conduct research can make all the difference in what they discover. The National Ecological Institute of South Korea recently announced this massive facility, which will house a research facility, educational facilities, and huge eco-domes.

The Ecorium Project will be the core of a wide-reaching comprehensive study of the world’s overlapping ecosystems. The 33,090 square-meter nature reserve will incorporate separate areas for a wetland preserve, a wild plant reserve and a visitors center, which will all be connected by a railway.

The most stunning part of the complex, designed by SAMOO, is its large wedge-shaped greenhouses. They’re reminiscent of the huge domes of the Eden Project in Cornwall, but these greenhouses are even more environmentally advanced. Their smart environmental systems will adjust interior conditions in accordance with exterior conditions – including the position of the sun – to minimize energy usage.

When the complex is seen from above, it’s meant to resemble a flowing, organic river. The layout of the greenhouses will be an organic shape that suggests the high-tech buildings belong right where they are. But while their shape is organic, they will be built of high-quality materials, including Plexiglas, low-e double glazing, and metal panels – all meant to maximize energy efficiency.

With this research and education facility in place, the National Ecological Institute of South Korea hopes to make it easier to study the inter-connecting effects of all of the world’s ecosystems. Besides giving the public a greater connection to nature through education, the center will act as a think tank for policy making and research. When you put all of the elements together, the Ecorium Project sounds like a utopia for naturalists and scientists alike.

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