Programme: Bering Strait Project - Dream Project attempting to connect 2 continents
Client: Foundation for Peace and Unification (FPU)
Team: Laurent Troost
Location: Bering Strait - USA/Russia
Scale: Area: 8.500 Ha
Status: Competition 2009 - Honourable Mention

Rather than creating an exuberant 3-dimensional icon to unify continents that will forever change the aspect of this very specific place on earth, we propose to maintain intact the strong image of the two isolated Diomede Islands by building a plane unifying both of them on the water-level and below.
A plane that, beyond the unification’s symbol of the square, is conceived as an artefact in-between a large landart piece and a scientific tool.

Hypothesis demonstrated by well-known scientists such as Rolf Schuttenhelm, the fast ice-melting of the Arctic (and thus the sea-level rise) could be slowed down by reducing the salinity in the Bering Strait. Various projects have been formulated: dam, threshold, etc.

The Diomede Plane is a new proposal to help solve this issue: the Plane is conceived as an inhabited structure covered by the largest salt pond system in the world (85km²) aiming at the extraction of as much salt as possible from the Bering Strait. This process will be working during 3-4 months of the year like most of salt ponds system in the world. All year long, the whole complex will be working as a giant public open space and infrastructure network.

In salt ponds, the water color change according to salinity level, water composition, pond bed and sun exposure. The Diomede Islands are kept natural and are transformed into a hiking/walk/panorama destination for tourists willing to experience the Diomede Plane from above. The Plane reflects a mosaic of differences as symbol of Peace and Unity.

The inhabited Diomede Plane houses the resort and research facilities, the station and the Peace Memorial. The Plane protects its users from the cold wind of the Arctic and offers a rational and efficient structure to interconnect and communicate. The Plane promotes thus a ‘patio’ typology for all facilities.

The upper surface of the plane offers a variety of programs dedicated for tourism and research: salt ponds tours, walks, explorations, mountain bike trail, etc.