Masaki Kakizoe, Unit 20 2006
Transitional Symbiont, Bosque Almendares, Havana Cuba

The crossing of “El Caudal Bridge” at the mid section of River Almendares, within the boundaries of the park is a solution tailored to solve the navigational issues of the park and the contamination of the river. It is an idea that explores the multiplicity of uses for bridges and the symbiotic relationship with the surrounding ecosystem. And yet it is more than a crossing, it is an island and the 21st century “Florentine Ponte Vecchio”.

The combination of uses of such a bridge demands the design development of new and daring technologies, with the integration of the surrounding environment. Therefore, the symbiotic relationship between the living and the non-living (bridge) is developed. The primary objective for this intervention and its purpose is not only to deal with the filtration of the contaminated river water with the use of bio-cords, but also to act as a social instrument and an educational tool for the local population of Havana. The financial support for cleansing Almendares River is already in place by foreign non-governmental organizations. However, it is the education of the local population regarding waste control, sanitation, and environmental awareness that is crucial for the real resolution of this issue.

The River can be dredged and filtered with significant financial input but this would only be a temporary solution if the locals continue to be irresponsible for their action regarding contamination. There is a limit to physical interventions to improve degrading environments by irresponsible actions by individuals. In essence the El Caudal Bridge “Transitional Symbiont” is a bespoke bridge design that attempts to solve an environmental issue that potentially could devastate both the immediate and wider community, especially affecting the next generation of the people of Cuba.