11 Oct 2015

How to improve access to the wetlands and respond to the common needs of its communities with a modular kit.

Author: Siri Borten

Wetland Kit

Modular temporary structures

Touristical infrastucture


This project investigates the conflictual interrelationships between the Balta Mică a Brăilei Natural Park and the surrounding settlements of Braila, Chiscani, Stancuta and Marasu. Particular focus is placed on the edge transition areas between land and water, between the human settlements
and the natural park. This negotiated territory is considered ground zero as it weaves together a complex and conflicting mix of political, economical, physical and ecological interests.

A thorough investigation into these conditions leads to a sober awareness of the difficult nature of such a situation, yet it also signals at possibilities for common ground – situations where the different interests can be addressed at once, in equally beneficial terms. Based on this grounded knowledge, a series of sites are identified to provide targeted, controlled and equal access and exchange between the park and the adjacent settlements.

Further a modular infrastructure kit is designed to activate and accommodate each access point. The modules are imagined as a series of pitch roof floating rooms whose form and material is born out of vernacular floating structures on the Danube delta. The flexibility and simplicity of the kit
allows it to adapt to the various conditions of each site as well as the practical needs of all actors. It’s floating capacity combined with it’s steel pole anchoring system addresses the continuously shifting shoreline – the water level fluctuates by as much as 6m in a single year.

The new connections prioritize the conservation of the natural capital of the park while looking to establish mutual forms of exchange where the both the park and the adjacent settlements benefit. This symbiosis could see potential gains for the city in terms of tourism and research, for the villages
(and to some extent the city) in terms of work and access to natural capital, and for the park in terms of maintaining and enhancing the conservation mandate.

Information from the tourist maps and the administration compared to the experienced reality


There seems to be some discrepancies between the administrations information about the touristical infrastructure, and what is actually there.
This could also be because the definition of touristical infrastucture is different in the administration and in the local communities, for instance.
In the villages I visited, nobody knew of any such infrastructure. Some of it is also gone because of decay.

the wetland kit

the Wetland Kit

Braila – Program on site:

  • Park Ranger
  • Forestry Ranger
  • Fishing infrastructure
  • Lodging
  • Kayak/tourist Center



Gropeni – Program on site:

  • Fishing association: Refridgerated room, Storage room, Boat workshop
  • Park ranger office
  • Ferry dock (AgriCost)

p8a p9

Stancuta Program on site:

  • Fishing association: Refridgerated room, Storage room, Boat workshop
  • University Research Station

p11a p12

Access Island Fundu Mare – Program on site:

  • Docking for up to three boats
  • Sampling station for UoB

p21 p20

Thanks to: Radu Moisei, Gelu Gaureanu, Aura & Nelu Mustata, Iulian Neagoe, Luca-Gabriel Serban, Sergiu Cristofor, Cristian Vintila, Corina Loredana and Eddie.