The proposed intervention is an experiment examining whether a man-made structure could aid the regeneration of wildlife.
Building the salt-pan houses meant humans excluded nature from a piece of land. Now we exclude humans from the same place, creating shelter for wildlife.
The area of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park is experiencing its second transformation. First, creating the current state, the local industry transformed the landscape, replacing the pre-existing ecosystem. With the slow decline of human activity as the artisan salt production is shrinking the territory is being reclaimed by nature. Hence the nature park is born, protecting the human interventions and the unique wildlife at the same time. In the meantime, contemporary tourism is slowly discovering the area and we are faced with the decision: who gets to enjoy the benefits of the unique atmosphere?
Local wildlife is defined by almost 300 different bird species, the most prominent of which is the little egret, the symbol of the national park. Little egrets nest in colonies, often with other wading birds. Our intervention is a shelter for these indigenous animals. The walls erected around the ruin using elevated CLT panels create a sheltered living space for the birds.
The purpose of the experiment is to examine whether the shelter for wildlife could accelerate its regeneration. If successful, the intervention can be continued on the rest of the salt-pan ruins. The new structures keep the pattern and scale of human interference, while creating new value at the abandoned spaces. These new ‘nests’ would be an interesting installation for the human observer too. The noise of the bird colonies would fill the environment with life, while the dynamic squads present a special sight. Careful management of visitors would provide for an interesting spectacle.
The CLT panels provided are sufficient for the enclosure of the ruin. The material is adequate for the location, since wood was frequently used by salt production as sandals, crates and pavement. The slow erosion of the material will gradually blend it with its environment. The steel bars holding the panels elevate them from the ground, so the nest is accessible on ground level as well as by flying in. The bars are woven together with wires, creating a mesh suitable for nesting, while climbing plants are making the structure cozy.
By attaching the planks making up the CLT panels purposefully loosely at the cost of some structural stability, we can invite the local insects to the community too. The panels are held together by wooden joints.
Tamás Fialovszky, Gergely Kenéz