Architecture of Conscience

ETsoil4

SOILS TESTING AND SOILS ENGINEERING BEGINS AT SPRING HILL DRIVE IN MOUNT SHASTA, CALIFORNIA, USA, TO PREPARE FOR THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, DESIGN, AND EVENTUAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE 80,000 SQUARE FOOT MOUNT SHASTA UNDERGROUND CONVENTION CENTER, JOB CREATION INSTITUTE, AND RESTORATIVE TECHNOLOGIES LABORATORY.

Piezometers are being placed underground to collect and analyze the soil content of the site and to determine what the soil types, conditions, and water levels are up to 80 feet below the surface, a very necessary undertaking for an underground building of 44 foot depth.

In addition, a survey of the flora and fauna, the insects, birds, and animals have been requested to gain clues as to how nature ‘s organisms use the site to create their own habitats and to answer why certain plants grow on the site and not others?

Winds can reach 130 mph in the winter months and so natural ventilation and windmill backup power is a design challenge that must be resolved.

While architecture firms of the world design megalithic structures that will add thousands of tons of toxic CO2 into the air and further exploit and destroy what life and natural resources we have left on our planet, there is at least one architect who refuses to join this pogrom of one-upmanship-bigger-is-better arrogance and brand name promotion.

Architects design their way, I design, nature’s way.

Earthquake activity has been non-existent for centuries, but since Mount Shasta is an inactive volcano that becomes active every 800 to 1000 years or so, it’s crucial to make the building earthquake-proof and I am designing for this by making the tea cup shaped underground building have a 2-3 foot buffer of waterproof “rocks” that allow the building to move sideways and up and down. This shock-absorbing buffer zone gives the building movement characteristics that make it adaptable to earthquakes without harm to its truncated cylindrical structure. In addition, the ground surface of the building has high soil berms, so that any lava that may flow towards this building, will be circumvented by a ring of hilly berms that direct lava away from the building and out towards the I-5 Freeway.

(Is the design) much like Frank Lloyd Wright’s stone and gravel “mat” for the Usonians?  Somewhat, but much larger in scale, and in three dimensions, and for an entirely different reason and function. Wright’s gravel mats were to prevent the crushing effects of freezing water and to provide a place to lay the radiant heating hot water pipes for the floor mat. None of this had anything to do with earthquakes. My solution is to create a buffer zone, at the floors and walls, to allow plenty of structural movement should the earth start shaking side-to-side, and up-and-down, as is typical in a significant earthquake. This building will flex with the earth’s motion instead of trying to remain rigid–flexibility in lightweight tension versus rigidity and monolithic heaviness. It is the lightness and strength of nature versus the clumsiness and heaviness of human design.

The ground level square footage of the building is 20,000 feet and we were going to use the building as an office/laboratory. Then, the City of Mount Shasta and the Bioregional Ecology Center discussed the long-time need for a convention center and suddenly the project expanded quite easily because the volume of the cylindrical space can easily accommodate several floors and when I designed for mezzanine and full upper levels, the space expanded to 80,000 square feet, which, to me, makes the use of the space more efficient and able to accommodate many activities simultaneously. The added goal of providing an economic source for the City also reinforces the underlying goal of strengthening the city’s social and environmental life. The building will likely become the global symbol of all that Mount Shasta aspires to be: “Where heaven meets the earth.”

TELOS PROJECT NEWSPAPER ARTICLE:
https://mountshastaecology.org/2019/08/27/eugene-tssui/
Photos by Andy King and Genea Perry, Soils Engineers, Redding, California.

 

UPDATE:

EUGENE TSSUI INTRODUCES THE DESIGN AND FUNCTION OF THE MOUNT SHASTA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER, JOB DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE, AND RESTORATIVE TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY, FOR MOUNT SHASTA, CALIFORNIA. FILMED, AUGUST 8, 2019, 7 to 9 PM, UPPER LODGE BUILDING, MOUNT SHASTA PARK AND RECREATIONAL AREA, MOUNT SHASTA, CALIFORNIA, USA. 

The presentation begins with the poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas; and ends with the poem, Invictus, by William Ernest Henley. Eugene recites these poems with passion, from memory, and briefly mentions how important it is to carry these and other poems in your heart so that in times of great duress and disappointment, they are a way to comfort one’s soul, as they did for Nelson Mandela and many others who stood against the oppression, violence, and ignorance of their times. This ignorance and destruction continues to this day and we all must stand for the right to live without harming other living beings and dedicate our lives to this.

This is the first public introduction of the attempt to create a commercial building (80,000 square feet) and international convention center that does not use electricity from utility power lines, contains no mechanical/electrical heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning mechanisms, utilizes sawdust toilets, uses a passive water cleaning mechanism (Lifestraw), catches rain and dew water, is completely made of wood (near zero embedded energy), is sheathed in Gigacrete (waterproof, fireproof, no mould and mildew and is bulletproof), actively addresses the elimination of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, is multi-functional, and is 40 feet underground so as not to disturb the beautiful panoramic views of Mount Shasta, the USA’s largest, en masse, extinct volcano which stands 14,300 feet high.

This building will exist lightly on the planet, doing no harm, leaving little trace, and encouraging everyone to reach for excellence.

FILMED PUBLIC LECTURE PRESENTATION:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVt5zry3U8k&feature=youtu.be
Filmed and edited by Mr. Jeff Leland
Produced by Andy Fusso and the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center

Share on facebook
Facebook

Many of my blog posts can be read on Facebook!

Leave a Reply