TERRA POSTETERNA: Hyperobjects as phenomena in the Third landscape

Milica Božić
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia

Project idea

The project focuses on two interdisciplinary concepts:
hyperobject - a notion formulated within philosophy by Timothy Morton, which encompasses various destructive phenomena in nature caused by human action; the Third landscape - a phenomenon that Gilles Clément defines within the landscape architecture that recognizes a new typology of landscape as a territory of diversity, in the permeation of natural and artificial contexts.

The superposition of selected concepts, which are observed in the same spatial and temporal proportions, opens a discussion on this topic in the framework of ecological, cultural, and aesthetic discourse. The presented project is named Terra Posteterna: Hyperobjects as phenomena in the Third landscape and it reflects this emplacement: it proposes the Third landscape as a response to the problem of hyperobjects. It is set in a posthuman framework and it includes the regeneration of what used to be great minefields in Bor, Serbia, and the projection of the scientific campus at the moment of complete depletion of mineral resources on a global level. In this regard, the project aims to form a model at this territory that could be translated onto all landscapes of the same category and which, ultimately, presupposes a re-examination of the concept of local.

Project description

Terra Posteterna simulation examines the potentials for the restoration of devastated ecosystems through the design of specific architectural and infrastructural forms according to the postulates of the Third landscape, apropos, ‘from the landscape’. Terra Posteterna territory is formed on the site of the entire mining area along with tailings, where the establishment of new ecosystems results in the complete regeneration of the area through reminiscing the memory of the former aesthetics of this landscape. That is, through activation of soil ecosystems, the ecosystem of Earth is created in the area of ​​surface mines; regeneration of aquatic ecosystems is visible in creating the ecosystem of Water at former flotation tailings; and, finally, the new typology of ecosystems dedicated to The third landscape emerges, emphasizing the catharsis of the regeneration and opening the questions of how natural and artificial could possibly exist together.

The ecosystem of Water is regarded as the first stage of treatment of the artificial space towards the Third landscape; the structure is fragmented, it is an archipelago on the border of two aggregate states (water and soil). It has the features of a shallow form integrated with the terrain and represents the border of the designed and untouched part of the landscape; a change in the treatment of elements in drawings through ‘borders’ is visible. The structure is not public but specialized for scientists. The ecosystem of Earth is treated as a second degree of transgression towards the Third landscape, where the structure itself is of secondary importance in relation to the landscape; it consists of public access paths and laboratories dedicated to terrestrial vegetation that are semi-public. The ecosystem of the Third landscape reflects the complete superposition of ecological and aesthetic discourse. It represents a decision to place the exhibits (former mining infrastructure) outdoors in a regenerated ecosystem. The architecture of this part is reduced to the basic elements of the museum - communications, flow, and parter, while the built structure is recognized only through imprints. It develops and connects existing patterns and tends to find a new syntax that forms a new type of landscape.

Technical information

The simulation is formulated on a landscape scale, so its primary character is expressed through mimicry, and its goal is to re-establish the disturbed biodiversity, where the project consists of three basic components: the first is formed in the entire mining area as a new natural ecosystem, the second is an infrastructural intervention that represents the entropy of the system and deals with the regulation of groundwater and rainwater which are problematic topics of mining areas, and the third is the structures themselves that are generated in the intersections of the first two components. The ultimate goal of the simulation is the complete reconstruction of the ecological and aesthetic values ​​of the landscape. The facilities are constructed from material made from a 3D print of the spent earth from the mine, which achieves that the materialization of the facility follows the conceptualization.