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Hamilton’s escarpment gets reconnected in stunning new concept

dpai architecture inc. turned a lot of heads yesterday upon the reveal of their Fibroblast Tower concept. According their Facebook post, the firm calls the project a “prosthetic intervention” that was designed to “begin the healing process of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO designated World Biosphere Reserve which acts as both a connector and divider within the city of Hamilton.”

The concept has so many integrated components but none stand out as much as the tower itself which effectively acts as a beacon and new symbol for the city. The base of the Fibroblast Tower would be located just north of where the Claremont Access and Jolley Cut intersect.

Much like the fibroblast cell which functions as a connective scar tissue, the Fibroblast Tower’s location is intended to be both symbolic and functional in healing the Niagara Escarpment by way of extending the ecosystem vertically.

The tower’s peak soars from the base of the escarpment to an incredible 570 metres at the peak. The 200 metre mark would be the top viewing platform accessible to the public with the rest of the height dedicated to a wild bird sanctuary.

The rendering physically connects the mountain’s Sam Lawrence Park with the lower city’s Corktown Park by way of two giant pedestrian-friendly spiral pathways as well as a north/south metro line.

The spiral pathways are elevated within the airspace of existing ground-level properties and offers various amenity nodes along the path including a skating rink, waterfall, climbing gym, amphitheatre, and observation platforms. Furthermore, the pods would be deep enough to accommodate swimming pools as well as the root system of large trees.

The final major element of this concept is a wildlife corridor that weaves through the paths but is completely separated from the tower’s pedestrian pathways. The wildlife corridor reconnects the ecosystems for the local flora and fauna native to our area, making it only accessible to hikers along the Bruce trail.

While a project of this scale will likely never make it beyond these renderings, it does bring about an interesting discussion on how architecture can heal both environmental and sociopolitical wounds. As stated by dpai architecture themselves, this proposal is “not meant to be taken literally but to inspire thought and imagination”.

We often take our escarpment for granted and projects like these which connect people and nature without further damaging the ecosystem are welcome points of discussion.

What are your thoughts on the Fibroblast Tower? What creative ways can we improve the Niagara Escarpment and better connect the mountain with downtown? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Comments (3)

  1. Benjamin Mitchell

    I would absolutely love to see something along these lines happen in Hamilton. It is amazing to admire the creativity and amazing talent we have in the city. Down the road the City should greatly consider a project like such and be a trailblazer for more eco infrastructure in the GTA.

  2. Dejan Balkanov

    Excellent idea and great project for future generations to execute!

    ….one suggestion based on similar experiences from around the world to go with Gondola approach where people can go up and down the mountain faster and for a fraction of the cost of heavy transportation infrastructure building bridges and train lines etc.