Jericho: Soil Remediation

OFL Architecture

Jericho is a project by OFL Architecture/Francesco Lipari, displayed within the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. The project, developed by an interdisciplinary team made up of architects, agronomists, landscape architects and engineers, including Giuseppe Milano as an expert in soil consumption, aimed to return urban environments that have been excessively densified and fragmented to a more balanced relationship with the biosphere through a soil remediation process.

Conceived as a strategy for territorial regeneration Jericho aims to engage communities by raising awareness, offering a new, more harmonious and emotional vision of the city based on generative and experiential analysis and mapping of its ecosystem data and the effect it has on citizens.

In cities regenerated through directed participation, the properly identified interstitial spaces are recovered and enhanced through new bio-physical and socio-economic solutions with the potential to build new models of citizenship based on inclusion and cooperation, sustainability and reciprocity. Community ecosystem devices are situated in the reclaimed areas: sharing architectures that encourage citizens to come together, increasing urban biodiversity and sustainably providing food and services for the urban surroundings.

A satellite map by Smart Cloud Farming detects the amount of CO2 in the soil making it possible to identify and sanitize areas near the cities where citizens can gather in small communities or self-sufficient hyper-families, based on their interests and technical skills, following the model of ecovillages. Life in the countryside, moving at a slow pace, indirectly plays a didactic role in teaching inhabitants to re-establish contact with nature.

Favara, a small town in the heart of Sicily is the first opportunity to adopt a territorial regeneration project that starts with caring for the soil, promoting a close relationship of reciprocity between the urban milieu and humanity, through a deep connection between architecture and agriculture according to a strategic vision that draws on the idea of an integral ecology.

Jericho is also a project of terraforming architecture: a mobile mechanical-biological device intended to fertilize and re-naturalize land that has lost its productive capacity. Through an integrated ecological process, Jericho transforms the soil that has been harmed by human action into a productive and habitable state, restoring it to its natural cycles related to its ecosystem and biodiversity.

Jericho is controlled by an Arduino that manages an autonomous electric driving system, equipped with brushless motors and lithium batteries. Spectrometric satellite analysis helps the robot to fertilise the soil with local plant nutrients and spores of mycorrhizae. The meteorological conditions are detected by external sensors located on vertical poles that move using a mechanism that converts rotational movement into linear movement, transforming Jericho into a living architecture: a drone, with the mission to fertilise, that can operate in the most complex spaces.