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Valentino Gareri Atelier designs Cacao Eco Village in Ecuador made from 3D printed cacao waste
Ecuador Architecture News - Jan 13, 2022 - 12:05 995 views
Named Cacao Eco Village, the new village, designed for Ecuadorian chocolate manufacturer MUZE Cacao and nonprofit organization Avanti, the first of a global network of sustainable and smart villages, a carbon-neutral destination and innovation center for circular economy in the cacao industry.
Set to be built in Pedernales, a county in the coastal province of Manabi, Ecuador, the project will be a modular, sustainable and tech-oriented place where the cacao farmers and families work and live. Construction will begin in 2022 on the project.
"This beachside destination - by the middle of the world - is known for its unspoiled panoramic beaches with great year-long weather, archeology, folklore, and an outstanding culinary tradition," said Valentino Gareri Atelier.
There are five core design principles behind Cacao Eco Village: modular, functional, sustainable, tech-enabled and connected. The buildings will entirely be designed modular, extendable, replicable and adaptable to different sites, dimensions and geometries.
To create a conscious tourism destination and cultural reference point for the local community, the village will operate as a cacao processing, chocolate factory, educational and research center, with co-living and co-working spaces.
"We have pushed the circular economy core principles so much that they informed the design philosophy of the entire project. The cacao waste, result of the chocolate production process, will be re-utilized for 3d-printing parts of the village," said Valentino Gareri.
"Waste is not only turned into a resource, but into architecture."
"In the not-too-distant future, we will be able to design buildings entirely made of natural materials and recycle them at the end of their life cycle in order either to create new ones, or to return them back to nature," Gareri added.
While using blockchain, IOT, and NFTs technologies, sustainability is one of the primary concern in design and is aimed to be energy self-sufficient village which will include rainwater collection, solar energy and natural ventilation. The village will be built from local materials such as bamboo, timber, and 3D printed structures made of cacao shell waste biofilaments.
The Chocolate Factory
The overall language of the project intends connect the local community to their traditions. To achieve this, Valentino Gareri Atelier takes inspiration for facades from the wide range of multi-colored Ecuadorian houses and from the cacao trees colorful fruits.
The form of the buildings facilitates the rain water collection: the water tanks are integrated in the roofs, whose shape draws inspiration from the local Ecuadorian art patterns.
The village will contain a dense network of cycle-pedestrian boulevards, while the use of electric vehicles will highly be encouraged with the presence of electric charging stations. The cars and trucks transits will be limited only around the Factory and Production area.
Events Center main entrance
The studio added that "This new asset class of sustainable and smart infrastructure emerges as a solution for the environmental and social impact of the cacao industry, using a circular economy model as a creative solution for reducing environmental footprint, generating increased income, reducing resource dependency and minimizing waste."
"MUZE Cacao's mission is to create new ethical cacao-based products using the most out of the fruit (approximately 80 per cent is currently wasted). These highly traceable products will reduce waste and offset carbon footprint while lifting farmers and their families out of poverty to integrate them into the global supply chain."
The project aims to be the "silicon valley" for circular economy innovators; a space for inventions and a testing ground for AgTech, FinTech, FoodTech, startups, and companies; manufacturers, producers and researchers. A destination and co-living space for change-makers to connect, co-create, get inspired, and ignite social impact.
All images courtesy of Valentino Gareri Atelier.
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