The PEI book launch of Living Lightly On The Earth: Building An Ark For Prince Edward Island 1974-76 by Steven Mannell will take place June 11 at The Carriage House at Beaconsfield, 2 Kent Street beginning at 7:30 pm.
Built in 1976 by the Cape Cod-based New Alchemy Institute and designed in partnership with Solsearch Architects of Cambridge MA, the Ark bio-shelter was conceived as “an early exploration in weaving together the sun, wind, biology and architecture for the benefit of humanity.” The structure’s integrated ecological design features provided autonomous life support for a family of four, providing for all food and energy needs, managing all wastes, and enabling a new and symbiotic relationship between its inhabitants and the ecosystem of their home. The Ark deployed many then-experimental technologies that remain emblems of sustainable design today: solar heating with mass heat storage, a high-efficiency wood stove, a wind turbine generator, composting toilets, and a passive solar agri/aquaculture greenhouse. This study of the project, celebrating the Ark’s 40th anniversary, is illustrated with original drawings and period photographs, and a wealth of background materials.
Living Lightly On The Earth: Building An Ark For Prince Edward Island 1974-76 is published by the Dalhousie Architectural Press. Steven Mannell is director of the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. He is the author of Atlantic Modern: The Architecture of the Atlantic Provinces 1950-2000 (2004).