A pioneer landscape in evolution on Albano University Campus
Future Island is an island of stones, a pioneer landscape in evolution over the next 100 years. It is a micro-ecosystem, a biotope of plants and animals that constantly adapts to the slowly changing conditions. The island is divided along the latitude of 59°21’20.32”N into two zones: a cold zone in the north, a warm zone in the south. The landscape in the warm zone is up to 5°C warmer than the surrounding area, thus creating a perpetual environment that corresponds to current predictions about global warming. The warm zone is heated by solar panels mounted on surrounding pavilions and screens.
The changes in the warm and cold zones, as well as on the frontier between them, where we anticipate the most changes in the site’s biodiversity, are tracked by a monitoring team. Very little maintenance is required, as human interference in this evolving ecosystem should be kept to a minimum. An important part of the project is its educational impact. Learning from Future Island also means understanding how the campus affects its immediate environment in terms of energy, such as by transferring energy created by the campus sewage system to the area known as Future Island. Students and the general public can have temporary access to the site by arrangement with the maintenance team. Reports about the conditions on Future Island, similar to the kind of weather reports we all check regularly, are issued by the monitoring team, which is composed of experts and advisers on the island’s flora and the fauna. They help set up and later oversee a monitoring process that maintains close observation of the evolution of the island. They serve as an important link by reporting on what is happening on the island in a way that makes the processes visible and understandable to the public.
Future Island is a public art project developed by Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) and Marjetica Potrč, commissioned by the Public Art Agency Sweden for Akademiska Hus and Svenksa Bostäder, in consultation with Nivå Landscape Architecture and a team of experts and advisers for the flora and the fauna of the island.
Future Island - Public Art Agency
OOZE (Eva Pfannes, Sylvain Hartenberg) and Marjetica Potrč
Public Art Agency Sweden, Akademiska Hus and Svenska Bostäder
Future Island at Albano (© Ooze)
River around the Island (© Ooze)
Meadow and Rocks (© Ooze)
Future Island of Rocks and Heat
Section CC - southern area of island (cold) (© Ooze)
Section AA - the northern point of the island (warm) (© Ooze)
Topography and warm/cold zones (© Ooze)
Stones & Rocks - a rock alphabet (© Ooze)
'Island Colonies' with biological communities (© Ooze)
THE ISLAND CONDITIONS
Future Island lies between two streams, in front of the north façade of the building Hus 2 on the Albano campus. The main stream, which flows from the highest point in the surrounding landscape, divides into a secondary stream that curves around the island. The secondary stream has a shallower bed than the main stream. While there is enough water at all times to create a wetland condition, the shallow bed sometimes overflows, depending on seasonal precipitation. The slowly changing landscape and unpredictable conditions of the two streams that embrace the island are reminiscent of the northern landscape inhabited by the Sami. There is no bridge to Future Island. Students and the general public can be given temporary access to the site and cross the stream by arrangement with the maintenance team.
Energy supply and cycle - powered by solar energy (© Ooze)
Monitoring the evolving ecosystem (© Ooze)
A NATURE THEATRE IN THE AGE OF THE ANTHROPOCENE
Future Island is a long-term project that evolves over 100 years. The slow evolution of the island’s landscape, as well as the slowly changing but very active frontier, where the warm and cold zones meet at the latitude 59°21’20.32”N, alludes to the age of the Anthropocene. Future Island is a place of experimentation, a nature theatre where people can explore and monitor in real time the development of the current geological age – the Anthropocene – when human activity is the dominant influence on the climate and the environment.
ACTORS AND ENGAGEMENT
The project explores different ways of initiating and procuring a permanent artwork in public space over 100 years. Its commissioners consider it as a pilot project whose role is to explore different strategies of procurement and processes leading to the elaboration of a durable piece. In 2016 the Public Space Agency invited the artist/architect collective to develop a concept in consultation with the overall Albano Campus main design and client team, aiming to bring this process to a level where all stakeholders could relate and be part of the project’s life. Long-lasting local stakeholders such as scientists and researchers from Stockholm University and the Science House secure a future for the island. Awareness, education, exploration and communication are important facets in the project. A series of activities around and about Future Island will form the base for different type of engagements, from semi-scientific monitoring and data collection to documenting and reflecting on the evolution of the Island. The information collected will be integrated in the overall narrative of the island across time, making evolutionary processes visible and understandable to the public.
Fauna - migration routes (© Ooze)
Energy and mineral layer of the northern part (© Ooze)
Energy and mineral layer of the southern part (© Ooze)
Flora layer of the northern part (© Ooze)
Flora layer of the southern part (© Ooze)
North part of the island (© Ooze)
South part of the island (© Ooze)
Fauna layer of the northern part (© Ooze)
Fauna layer of the southern part (© Ooze)
ENERGY AND STONE
Future Island is constructed with boulders and rocks, the main protagonists of the island. They form a body of inertia which keeps and transmit the heat. A dual heating system is set in place: a network of heated pipes running in the ground that keeps a consistent temperature with sensors; and five circuits of pipes running through 27 drilled stones that gives a sensorial experience to the landscape. The warmth is provided by a combined air/water heat pump connected to a photovoltaic field of solar panels. The system is self-sufficient, generating 120MW/year.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Three distinct micro environments are created on the Island, the +5°C heated North (the future), the ambient South (the present) and the humid wet east coast. Fields of rocks, valleys and micro-fjords will offer habitats for biological communities of plants and animals. A selection of native flora such as grasses, mosses, lichens, water plants, and native fauna such as and insects, mammals, reptiles, birds and fishes will be introduced evenly on the island and its rivers. Those species will settle, form communities, flourish, dominate, die and leave space for other new species. Migration, changes of living patterns, mutation and adaptation will occur and inevitably reshape the living patterns on the island. Over time, distinct behaviors will probably emerge, giving a glimpse into possible futures on earth. The evolution will be monitored and documented by students, children, researchers of Stockholm University and other actors who wishes to engage with the island. “Science House Stockholm” (Vetenskapens Hus) will host a Living Archive and a website connected to a specific database, collecting information via climate loggers located at strategic points on the island that record temperature, relative humidity of soil and air and other relevant factors.
Future Island in the making (© Staten Konstrad)