Macro Grove

Macro Grove aims to restore the threatened shoreline of the Kiribati islands. This modular system is multiplied along the coast to enclose the previously exposed sand barriers connecting the sparse islands found in this cove. The wooden structure takes inspiration from the mangrove trees that naturally protect the shoreline but cannot survive the increasingly hostile salinity.

Design Challenge

How do architects solve the issues of rising ocean waters, coastal storms, sustainability, and the ebb and flow of the tides in Kiribati? Macro grove utilizes elements of vernacular architecture, in tangent with ease-of-construction, to create a dynamic and expandable module. It houses 18 people in one module: incorporating all elements for a completely self-sustaining life. Innovation in the systems and program, of each module, allow for water filtration and collection, storage and collection of solar energy, and sturdy structure to protect from harsh storms. The pontoon structure underneath allows for the module to float in high-tide, and to settle into the sand during low-tide. Furthermore, the program of the module offers animal pens, gardens, and fishing farms to maintain the daily lifestyle and needs of an individual on the islands. The form of the module is indicative to the family structure that is the central value to the country; three separate dwelling quarters are united in the middle by the kitchen, to encourage community. As the family modules expand, a design for a community module has also been included, for 100 people: it includes larger scale programs that are within each family module.

Physical Context

Since Kiribati is slowing eroding, due to harsh climate and weather, Macro Grove is an architectural solution that not only solves the needs of the individuals that occupy the disappearing place, but also protects and restores place. At an urban scale, the project is a barrier to harsh storms and climates, and is a bridge to community and culture. More specifically, the module draws from the given site vocabulary to create the curved structure and thatched roof.