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Sarah Richelieu


Environmentally Adaptive Eco-Lodge


Humans have a tendency to fear what cannot be controlled. However, this universal behavior could trigger the beginning of the end for a national resource. Meet The Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland. The heart of the Pantanal is a dynamic ecological system called the flood pulse. Species rely on the flood pulse of the Pantanal, a natural process that brings months of intense water followed by a long dry season. This system is an integral part of flora and fauna life cycles within the Pantanal. However, climate change has caused extremities in the wet and dry seasons, causing extreme flooding, droughts, and toxic agricultural runoff. As a result, many South Americans living across the region have tried to fight the seasonal flood pulse by building dams, as it brings unwanted water across their lands and into their communities. The result of human intervention has been detrimental to the wetland ecology. Human diversion of water causes a disconnect between the tributaries sourcing water to the Pantanal and the rest of the floodplain that depends on this resource to live. Currently, human instinct is to fortify against events that could cause harm. This project aims to change the narrative.

This project aims to minimize the ecological impact development has on the wetland. Through firsthand experience and activities, tourists are educated on the local ecology and natural systems of the Pantanal. Eco-Rhythms Lodge takes an ecologically focused approach to address the unique challenges of the Pantanal. Rather than manipulating the landscape to fit the design, the design molds to fit the changing landscape. Eco-rhythms lodge mimics the fluidity of the floodplain by its adaptive design strategies while highlighting the ecology of the wetland during each season of change.

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