Digital Totem for the Canary Islands beaches

Digital Totem

The digital totems are smart weather stations that collect and display environmental and local information for tourists and visitors of beaches and waterfronts in the Canary Islands (Spain). They are part of an ICT infrastructural network that celebrates the rooted relationship between the Canary Islands culture and their extraordinary climate.

The design is inspired by the aboriginal ceramic art pieces from the indigenous inhabitants of the islands. This art was based on the worship of the sun god “Magheq”, usually represented through circular shapes and decorative geometric patterns.

The design consists of a digitally fabricated solid wood ring standing vertically with a north-south orientation. The southern face hosts an array of photovoltaic modules that turn sunlight into electricity for phone and e-bike charging. The northern face contains a 1,2 m2 video screen that broadcasts real-time environmental data captured by the totem and useful information regarding tourist activities and services in the area. In addition to its technological and digital features, the totem also provides analogy and material values to attract attention and enrich the pedestrian
urban experience.

The resulting solution celebrates more than five hundred years of the creative relationship of the Canary Islands with the sun. From the marking of the solstices for agricultural purposes and the sun and beach tourism to the more recent challenges of producing sustainable energy with solar panels.

Naos Urban Park

Naos Park is located on an existing pier, by the waterfront, in the city of Arrecife. The site is situated in a strategic location between the boulevard that bypasses the city, and its stunning waterfront. Thanks to its enviable position at this crossroads, it has the potential of being a park for tourists to gather when they arrive, and a transport hub with multimodal forms of transport, such as public buses, taxis, tourist shuttles and bicycles. The design strategy involves extending the green tree canopy of the boulevard into Naos Park, by installing five artificial trees in the existing concrete pier.
Each tree will have a range of facilities under them, including public bathrooms, cafeterias, A bike rental service, an information office and a ticket office for buses. In addition, each tree will consist of a vertical garden and a top garden pot, as well as a vortex windmill that will provide energy for watering, off-grid lighting and Wi-Fi system. Steps for the public to gather on, with panoramic views over the surroundings, and protected from the dominant north-east winds (the so-called Alisios), will make up the full structure of each tree. The resulting public space will provide a big open shaded area, in the middle of the hot city of Arrecife. The trees are built of salted laminated timber, and they will undergo an industrialised construction process. The second part of the project consists in preparing the existing platform for public use, including the provision of a terrace with views over the marina. Future phases will include the re-designing of the existing roundabout, by enlarging it, so that it becomes an extension of the park.

Street Bio-corner

These brand-new street bio-corners will evolve from some of the existing street corners in Arrecife, standing out amid the arid landscape, and consisting of a big tree, a shaded area and seating. Street bio-corners are a contemporary version of the existing ones, adding new bio-functionalities, such as a local drainage system, clean energy, digital information, and biodiversity. Besides trees, gardens and places for people to meet up and relax, these spaces will include a sustainable drainage system for the harvesting, filtering and storage of rainwater, as in old times in Lanzarote, when water was a valued and scarce resource. Each street bio-corner works as a hydraulic infrastructure, in addition to being a public space, with a Wi-Fi connection and an off-grid energy system.
Our aim is that these corners will encourage people of different ages to come together, as well as making the city eco-friendly. The design consists of an assemblage of triangular modules and has multiple and varying usages, such as being a garden, a playground, a place to play chess with tables, an orchard, a butterfly garden, a location for barbeques, a platform for yoga, as well as having steps to sit on. There is a plan to develop about forty street bio-corners around the city, all of them in collaboration with people living in nearby neighbourhoods.