The Northern Lights

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The Northern Lights

Nastya Popova, Mikhail Ivanov, Sergey Aksenov, Volodya Vasiliev


According to the last scientific statistics our planet Earth is being in the state of overpolution and overwarming. Human activities of technogenic kind cause a bad effect on Earth, some of its territories have already been damaged heavily without any chance to regenerate, same is done on the atmosphere. Further continuation of such treating with our Home bodes nothing positive to the humanity. The “Northern Lights” concept offers people on Earth to move far to the North, to Franz Josef Land, in order to concentrate mankind’s life there and so to give a break to our Home.
This concept is not based on image of future life or futuristic elements instead it is referred to the past and present, takes best and favorite from it (including masterpieces of architecture). The idea of a vertical city is not a discovery but to resettle mankind into one place, which is able to provide itself with everything necessary, is.
Northern islands were chosen in order to show that inside “Northern Lights” any climate area or time of the day can be performed, but their significant purpose is to keep fragile northern nature in completeness and to uphold glaciers in frozen state due to a huge amount of energy received from wind generators. The settlement consists of 650-meter-in-diameter towers; each of them is constructed of functional blocks which are determined into 6 types:

CITY – pretty much a regular city where the usual functions are gathered. A giant dome is hanged above – a screen – to light up the City and display particular daytime and weather. It’s important since one part of the year it’s day, and night during the other on the archipelago. It is the same reason why tower is shelled with diaphragm-integrated panels, they obscure daytime while it’s night during polar day (in summer) and hide night while it’s daytime during polar night (in winter) so inhabitants feel good and can live normally. Actually we literally transfered all the most appreciated architectural masterpieces into the CITY-level, so we carried all the typical city functions at their best shape.

VILLAGE – is copied from any countryside on Earth to level in the tower. Purpose is the same as it is – another way to live. It also has its dome.
AGRO – level that contains cereal fields or that of linen or hemp to provide people with food and other goods; pasture with cattle to produce meat, fur and leather. This floor is covered with flat screen, which gives necessary specter of light. Some levels of this kind perform as natural reservations.

TECH_LEVEL – is an organism, «life support» for the tower. All technical equipment, electricity, generators, pumps, sewerage, etc. – all that is hidden beneath the earth in ordinary city – is on this level.

WINDMILL – entire floor full of wind turbines. Since winds are strong and permanent in that area (the higher the faster) wind energy is a perfect solution to satisfy inhabitants’ demand in energy. Besides it made possible the creation of a huge refrigerator on base level which holds the glaciers frozen.

INDUSTRY – includes manufactures, plants and science centers to solve problems of Earth’s regeneration, efficient technologies and to meet people’s requirements. Also it contains recycling plants to pure wasted areas of Earth.
Vertical communication within towers is realized by means of an elevator (as huge as a bus, horizontal one between towers is performed with a multi-level track containing electric cars, trains and pedestrian routes. Ocean and air are used for transportation as well with airships, helicopters, icebreakers. Their goal beside connection within settlement is to deliver raw-stuff (especially it’s garbage, residuals or waste of manufacturing) from abandoned areas on Earth to Industry level to recycle them and use again.


Who influences you graphically?
Long before taking part in the Evolo competition we began researching into northern Russian aesthetics by means of the internet, whilst on the other hand through our travels we encountered surreal and really unimaginable images of nature which resembled abstract art paintings than reality. As a result the general colour scheme of all the concept was developed  whilst the graphic style was borrowed from constructivist architects of the mid of 20th century. We also were influenced by Archigram and by the early works of Rem Koolhaas.

Your method of representation varies from line drawings to collage, how does this language help in relating the images to specific elements of thesis- issue and proposal?
We used colourful collages along with linear technical graphics intentionally. Here is an associative row: a fisherman – a fishing hook – a bait – a fish. A fisherman lures a fish with a bait and catches it with a hook to obtain his dinner. So we are the fishers, brightly coloured collages are the bait, comprehensive drawings are the hook, and the fish is KooZA/rch 🙂 actually we made such a layout as a purposeful experiment. It is an attempt to picture the architecture through technical drawing graphics and the living and feeling of milieu through rich colours. The result we aimed for is a full versatile and bright perception of our concept.

What is the effect and reason behind the dome as being ‘gridline’?
“gridline” used in domes’ layout expresses the possibility of its constructive decision. It also symbolizes people’s voluntary decision to put themselves in a cage by cruel attitude towards the Earth. We visually ease (or enlighten) these cage’s rods to give people a chance to live in comfort and not to feel insular within the surrounding

Why does the section prevail as technical drawing?
As we said in the previous question, we were inspired by constructivism, and technical hand drawing were a great part in the revealing of their projects. The images almost imply a certain narrative.

What would be the effect of sewing a narrative and presenting the proposal through a comic book?
`Comics layout could fully and in detail show the living within the concept by means of speech bubbles

How would a specific and different format influence the way the project is received and allows for another layer?
According to the purpose of project and its concept we use different ways of performance (picturing). The idea of the project is a major factor to influence the layout. in “northern lights” case the style we used expresses the fantasic part of our concept within natural environment in most efficient and attractive way

Nastya Popova_5

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Nastya Popova_4

Nastya Popova_2

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Nastya Popova_1About
we are 4 students from the Moscow Architectural Institute. currently we do our final qualifying works (or diplomas). we are familiar with each other for many years and so we decided to try to work together and see what result we’d achieve.


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