Landscape as a social change generating tool

Chlorophyll. Healing Memories Trough Nature. Chamchamal, Iraq

Retaking the importance of a garden as a spiritual reconciliation place and its cultural identity, Chlorophyll Garden is a project of communal and individual recovery. Creating sensory links with the territory will generate identity and cultural value. Chlorophyll will paint lives with a healing green, bringing hope and representing rebirth of life.

Image work detail

The world faces massive changes, in which vulnerable communities have been forced to move. This has triggered new imminent needs that must be addressed. Landscape becomes, a tool to work in adaptation and collective social integration, responding to contextual specific conditions, creating the possibility of generate integrated habitable panoramas. A therapeutic center in Chamchamal Iraq is being built, providing a safe space for those who have experienced human rights violations. My project seeks to strengthen the on going project with a healing garden, articulating the architectural approach with the consolidation of a development perception over time and a landscape management strategy.

Chlorophyll is taken as a metaphor of mental - sensitive healing processes, developing tangible tools to generate bonds with the territory. Working with soil, following vegetation growing and being able to gather food from this new territory, will allow people to generate unbreakable connections. Roots are the connections to grip the place. Vegetation gives character and transformation is the constant component. Geographically speaking, the uniqueness of the place is evident, a riverbed soil inside an urban context without any local logic. The project goes beyond pre-designed boundaries and static symbolical geometries. It proposes to make a reinterpretation, of the existing city forms, mixing them with blurred cultural backgrounds. Physical conditions demand the creation of shade, the need of collecting water to recover soil fertility and facilitate climate comfort to foster social interaction in the garden. A mosaic of spaces is adapted focusing on the diversity of users. Natural buffer zones, artificial spots and play–active areas are suggested at first. Anthropological processes will improve biodiversity as a tool to define different characters, boosting new ecosystems. The development is based on learning-by-doing activities, meaning the possibility of replicate what they learn in the future, in order to establish greater impacts within the region. At first, a forestation process based on a selection of plants with a special meaning in Kurdish tradition; will result into a green time-line of identity, finding diverse ways trough common roots. The basis of the proposal is guided by the intervention, transformation and use of the existing resources. Topographic modifications, water filtration and accumulation, the use of renewable energies and vegetation use are the main component of change to consolidate the garden. Landscape as a tool will guide the garden through physical changes and social purposes. The new identities created by the healing processes, will be together celebrating and sharing the future, remembering and respecting the past that has brought them together.