Bering Strait Project | OFF Architecture




the bering strait

all images courtesy off architecture

french firm off architecture received second prize for their project as part of the bering strait competition.
The bering strait is a sea strait between russia and alaska, is one of the
biggest of its kind.
A threshold between the arctic and pacific oceans, the strait manifests a highly
fragile and sensitive climate, linked to the fabrication of ice, acting as a strategic zone
for global climate.
An incredibly particular ecosystem connected to the surrounding climate is
composed of very rare and fragile species which includes belugas, walrus, polar bears, blue
whales, dolphins, and orcas, to name a few.

For their design they did not simply propose a bridge or railway link, but
decided to create an active project sensitive to the conditions of the site.




plan of the structure



Due to the straits relatively shallow water levels; the proposed structure is
able to descend to the bottom of the ocean, with only a few meters floating above the
water level.

The structure works in compression. two parallel walls cut through the adjacent
bodies of water, held apart with bracing, which at times is habitable. each wall, 10
meters wide, respectfully provides train and vehicle infrastructures at its apex. the massive
structure requires simplicity, a trait only achieved with a direct line that connects the
two sides of the strait.


plan of the structure


interior of the structure


detail of elevation of the structure


detail of elevation of the structure


detail of elevation of the structure


interior of the structure


sections of the structure


elevation of the diomede island

Acting as a viewing platform, the entirety of the sublime landscape can be
witnessed, experienced and respected. a powerful place where time dissolves, past and
future amalgamate and only the existing landscape reigns.

The structure splits the diomedes in two. a hermetic city, built into the 400
meter high island, pierces the fa├žade of the cut, comprised of residences, theatres and
cultural centres.

A fractal view of a submerged city can be seen as pedestrians travel across the
strait, giving birth to a vertical city. a new mode of living is established. due to the
innate thermal mass of the subterranean rock, the diverse program is attributed natural
heating and cooling qualities. the surface of the diomede is uncovered with the rift of
habitation below.


elevation of the diomede island

Connecting the two diomedes is a 50m wide opening created by the structure, a
series of 10 meter by 10 meter modular cubes, faced with a polished reflective metal, delicately float above the waters surface.


elevation of the diomede island


interior of 'diomedes'

The peace park’s form is as symbolic to the past as it is to the future. the
notion of time and temporality becomes central; its unstable and transient nature is mirrored
in the ice that engulfs the site. fragile floating pieces of ice, known as pancake ice,
maintain a strong presence. They are constantly in collision with each other, until they transform into circular form, and later solidify to create a continuous field of ice. This phenomenon is
the basis for the minimal footbridge connecting the little and big diomedes.


'peace park' footbridge


'peace park' footbridge

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