Currently, Mass Timber is being situated in a discussion of material substitution on the account that wood is better for the environment than steel and concrete. While the latter is in fact true; wood is known to absorb carbon dioxide as it grows in the forest, and when it is cut down, it stores the carbon for as long as it is used, which may be a hundred years. However, in order to reach the level of convergence of the greenhouse gas emissions needed, it is not going to happen merely through a material substitution mentality, but through reimagining the way we think about our building strategies/assumptions and the potential role of timber in a broader scale cognition of substitutions.
The proposition of this project is to look at timber not simply as a substitute structural material for steel or concrete, but as a holistic building system approach that provides alternative ways to think about building structure as well as exterior and interior system strategies such as insulation, provision of heat and cooling, humidity control, finishing, etc. If those functions get merged into one system, timber will have much more value not only from the inherent architectural and potential ecological and environmental value in this system but also from a capital point of view as there will be clear reasons and motivations to consider timber, which can substantially transform the construction industry.
The site is in the heart of a cultural and commercial center of Atlanta that’s known for its dense number of art galleries, museums, theaters, historic buildings, and the Savannah College of Art and Design campus. The area has a population of 42,000 which swells to 81,000 by day and attracts over 6 million visitors every year to its many festivals and attractions.
Through placing people at the center, with an emphasis on place-making to foster a strong sense of community, the proposal hopes to create a landmark for socially, materially, and environmentally progressive models of sustainable urban living, where locals and visitors can come together and participate in a variety of activities. The proposal intends to leverage the unique qualities of the proposed site to serve as a one-stop location for a green market, public communal amenities, and housing all interlaced with a civic urban transit center.
Georgia has a rich history of agriculture. The warm temperate climate of Georgia works perfectly with the soil. The state is a major fruit and vegetable supplier to markets up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Georgia is perennially the number one state in the nation in the production of peanuts, pecans, blueberries, and spring onions according to the state Farm Bureau. It is also at or near the top when it comes to watermelon, peaches, cucumbers, sweet corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and cabbage.
The market’s goal is to provide a place where businesses and consumers can buy and promote Georgia’s locally grown products in support of sustainability, quality, and integrity. However, this market is not merely recreational nor a place where merely transaction takes place, it is also a production space.
Through integrating a greenhouse into the building, an active link is created between nature and the vibrant, social spaces of the markets, drawing the surroundings and its visitors into and through the market. The greenhouse serves as a production space that supplies both the local restaurant and the retail food area with fresh, locally grown foods. Furthermore, a timber re- search workshop is held within the greenhouse to raise awareness about timber production, sustainable forest management, and the importance of decarbonization in the twenty-first century.