Summary: A.R.K. stands for - Architektur Recycled Kulturstall.
The historic A.R.K. in Berea is the first structure in Cuyahoga County, Ohio to incorporate sustainable building concepts from the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Hand built in 1994 as a work of art by Environmental Artists David and Renate Jakupca. It is a practical design study for the 'Theory of Iceality in Environmental Arts' for future buildings and for the global headquarters of the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) and Cleveland’s Eco Village. It is also a pioneer structure for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998.
The A.R.K. is hybrid structure utilizing cob, straw bales, aluminum cans, used tires, and recycled construction materials, It helped to address the environmental problems through 'iceality' of large urban areas and the trend of remodeling rather than demolishing and rebuilding existing structures. The ARK in Berea is used as an eco-museum, community center, and art studio of American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca. It is recognized as the 'Birthplace of the sustainable Environmental Art Movement and is registered with the Berea Historical Society, Western Reserve Historical Society and the Ohio Historical Society.
The ARK in Berea is a project of the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) and was an extension for the Habitat II Conference which was held in Istanbul, Turkey June 1996. It is a practical study on original sustainable building designs and ideas that will be used on ICEA’s permanent HQ building that anchor the complete Cleveland Eco Village on Whiskey Island near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in the flats of Cleveland, Ohio. The ARK in Berea as a hybrid structure is composed of four material building techniques now being used on a limited basis worldwide. The key to such a hybrid structure is that it combines a thermal mass technique, such as rammed earth on the east wall, with an isolative system of straw bales and straw clay on the north and south sides, taking advantage of the best qualities of each system.
New solutions to common problems have begun to evolve from such creative combinations. The key to the ARK in Berea’s natural, yet subtly elegant design, was knowing when and where to incorporate techniques that would result in increased building efficiency, structural innovation and unique artistic effects.
As the ‘Spiritual Father of the Environmental Arts Movement’ and founder of ICEA, David Jakupca wanted the ARK in Berea to stand out as an artist’s building. ICEA, whose mission is ICEAlity, that is to assist an understanding of the relationships between Humans and their Environment through the Arts, it was imperative that the ARK in Berea have a distinctive aesthetic appeal while simultaneously actually helping the environment.
Construction on the ARK in Berea started out slow in 1993. Being built partly underground on the side of the valley, all excavating and construction had to be done by hand making the ARK in Berea truly a hand made piece of art, complete with date and signatures of the artists! In the beginning, an unseasonably wet winter contributed to heavy mud slides before retaining walls could be built. David found by trial and error some things worked and some did not. The one idea that did work was to build a solid foundation in the front and tunnel backward when time and weather permitted.
The front (west wall) is made of recycled materials. Aluminum cans were cemented on pallets for walls and glass doors became picture windows. Old cedar shingles were one of the Jakupca’s great found treasures. A volunteer of ICEA, Marty Lane, knew about the shingles that were about to be transported to the dump after a re-roofing job. They talked to the construction foreman and he was happy to drop a couple truck loads to their site.
The ARK in Berea proved that incorporating salvaged, recycled and resourceful materials invites an innovative style that is easier on the environment but adds character from different woods and products not readily available anymore. “In Cleveland, as in most cities, the trend is to rebuild rather than remodel and with all that waste in demolition -- there must be a way we can use that,” David says.
Moving backward from the front wall, the primary building material is Leichtlehm (literally light-loam) which is a German technique of ramming loose straw coated with a clay slip into forms as an infill for timber frame structures. The technique consists of surrounding a from structure with a thick infill of the straw-clay mixture. The frame is usually fully expressed on the interior of the building to take advantage of the beauty of the timber from joinery. A lighter frame of wood is built on the eventual outside face of the building as an anchoring system for the straw-clay walls.
At the back of the ARK in Berea is a 2’ x 6’ ditch or tub to control and collect mud and water run-off. Loose straw and clay slurry are mixed in the tub then allowed to age for up to several days in order for the straw to absorb the extra moisture and thus create a stickier and more easily tamped mixture. For higher insulation values, less clay was used. Slip forms were set up between the framing members, and the straw clay mixture is tamped by hand or foot. During heavy rains the tub was bailed before it overflows inside.
Robert Laporte, timber farmer and straw-clay builder, commonly uses straw-clay stuffed loosely between rafters as insulation, with the clay discouraging pests. He has also used it as an insulting layer underneath earthen floors. Frank Andresen, German expert on straw-clay, has demonstrated a system of straw-clay tiles which can be placed between roof rafters as insulation and as a plastering surface. He has also introduced straw-clay bricks that can be used like light-weight adobes.
The ARK in Berea over time evolved into a structure that inspires others while it echoes in rhythm with the river and woods that surround it. High on a ridge overlooking the pristine Rocky River in Northern Ohio, in the morning, when the mist is lifting its curtain of gauze from the valley below, deer move silently along the shore and Canadian geese fly inches above the water honking wildly before rising noisily skyward. A comfortable space that works with nature, not stomps on it. This is a community of people who want to explore the challenge of living in ways that are materially sufficient, socially and ecologically responsible, and satisfying to the soul. Since 1973, the Jakupca's have developed the skills of community: sharing, responsibility, compassion, communication, consensus building, conflict resolution, appreciation of diversity, love through iceality. They believe that these skills are necessary to bring the larger society to sustainability and sufficiency, and they have shared to the best of their ability.
ICEA’s reputation as an avant-garde cultural center for the elite continues to grow, drawing the likes of sculptor John Puskas, adventurer poet Daniel Thompson, activists Ione Biggs, and environmentalists John Perera, as well as other members of the international community, over time making ICEA a force for socially responsible activity.
The ICEA has in its library books, videos, manuals, etc. related to natural building methods. People interest in ICEAlity or the Cleveland Eco Village concept are invited to attend the next informal pot luck meeting at the ARK in Berea. Please call (440) 891-8376 for details.
Hundertwasser the famous architect, designer and artist wrote, "The individual's desire to build something should not be deterred! Everyone should be able and have to build and thus be truly responsible for the four walls in which he lives".
Jon Jandai, Director of Pun Pun Organic Farm said presentation in Thailand,
"I want to be equal to animals. The bird makes a nest in one or two days; the rat digs a hole in one night, but clever humans like us spend 30 years to have a house... that's wrong."
Silver Revelation, the Greater Cleveland Area has become recognized as the Global Home of the Environmental Arts Movement by American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca of the the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) as a ‘Cultural Industry’, to foster civic identity, cultivate jobs and tourism, and brand Ohio Environmental Arts and Culture District in the Bioregion”
The Global Home of the Environmental Art Movement is the region in Northern Ohio that is noted for its growing concentration of Sustainable Design and Technology Industries. Geographically, the region occupies the same area as the Greater Cleveland Area where it is centered and where most of the companies are located. It is in the northeastern part of Ohio, an area stretching from the south end to Akron-Canton, Lorain in the west and Youngstown in the east.
It is visualized as the home for many of the world's largest technology corporations, as well as thousands of small start ups working on a sustainable future. The term ICEALITY refers to the region's original innovator, the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA), the environmental arts pioneer, but it eventually expands to all sustainable practices, and is now generally used as a metonym for the global cultural of peace sector.
Since 1987, the success of ICEA has spawned a number of other Peace/Environmental Centers throughout the United States and the World, but ICEA continues to make the north coast a leading hub for innovation and development. This question may have occurred to many people's minds when they came across the term ICEALITY. While its meaning is mostly unknown to them, the revolutionary ideas and developments which have been made in this term affect everyone’s daily life, and it is hard to imagine our modern civilization without them. Greater Cleveland is now recognized as the heartland of the Environmental Peace Industry which is based on the ‘Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts.
Iceality saw the "development to the LEED program, the Worlds Children Peace Monument, Urban Lakefront Development and has generated a lot of information on elements related to climate change, population and human rights.
David Jakupca, asserts that, "Respect for human and environmental rights and greater understanding between people from different racial and religious backgrounds must be the first goal of society in today's fast-changing, globalized world." The goal is accomplished according to Jakupca, "Is by focusing on the creative process and affirming to the principles of the "Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts".
The Theory on Environmental Arts (ICEALITY*) was enthusiastically embraced by the United Nations by 1990 and was featured in many of their World Conferences;
1- 1992 Earth Summit on the Environment, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2- 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, Austria
3- 1994 World Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt
4- 1995 World Conference on Women, Beijing, China
5- 1996 Habitat II- UN Conference on Human Settlements, Istanbul, Turkey
6- 2000 World's Fair, Expo2000, Hannover, Germany
7- 2001 World Conference on Racism, Durban, South Africa
8- 2002 World Summit on Sustainability, Johannesburg, South Africa
9- 2003 World Conference on Peace, Verbania, Italy
10- 2005 World Conference on Peace, Verbania, Italy
11- 2007 World Peace Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico
The result of this major global public promotion at the United Nations level, is that the Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts is now considered as the cornerstone of the modern sustainable global Environmental Art Movement and this concept is now replicated by artists, architects, urban planners and sustainable organizations throughout the World, reflecting a still growing global audience.
Looking at our over populated society in which Sustainability has become a necessity against Ecocide, the crucial role of Iceality in the Environmental Arts and Design Revolution becomes even more evident.
This also makes Iceality a philosophy meaning that there is hope for Humanity after all, and that improvements in our Society can take place daily. American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca see it as a transformation from the rust belt to a place where, "Economics and Culture combined with leading edge technology and thriving entrepreneurship, financial investors and pioneering organizational styles provide the background for the most profound inquiry ever into the Nature of Peace that will affect our planet’s very evolution for centuries to come."
They would like to convey the image of ICEALITY as the nucleus of the modern sustainable agenda for saving our Planet, presenting the most important developments of major elements which comprise the future which is the relationship between Humans and their Environment through Design and Culture, ultimately promoting an effective sustainable global Culture of Peace between all Living Things in the Human, Plant and Animal Kingdoms.
The ABC's of Environmental Arts Education using the Iceality Methodology The Revolutionary Educational Idea on the Rise from the Good People at the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA)
"The Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM) and the Great American Peace Trail (GAPT) Projects are international, public participatory art projects designed to engage children with cross-cultural awareness in order to attain the common goal of sharing peace and diversity with their neighbors. The peace projects, utilizing the principles of the 'Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts' have direct community impact through neighborhood beautification, community and economic development while building self-esteem and hope in America. They will help to build better neighborhoods where everyone can live, respect and accept each other as they diplomatically negotiate errors and differences of prejudice and hatred and instill in its place the belief in the necessity of communication." American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca.
The "Theory on Iceality on Environmental Arts" used in the building of the “Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM) is a learning by association formula that builds a concept within and makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. A form of synergy of the Iceality Method whereby the interaction of multiple elements ( Peace Stones) work together in a culture of peace structured to produce an effect, in this case the WCPM, that is superior than the sum of their individual Stones. The learning occurs as the Worlds Children using the Iceality Methodology, take part in the education, personal development, schooling and training adding new Peace Stones from the Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM) to municipal parks. It is goal-oriented and aided by motivation by concerned personnel.
The "Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts" is practical study on the aesthetics of the relationship between Humans and their Environment through Arts and Culture, ultimately promoting an effective sustainable global Culture of Peace between all Living Things (Human, Animal and Plant Kingdoms) http://www.theicea.com/page22
In essence, the WCPM is a system of interrelated international components working together with a common objective: Creating a Sustainable Global Culture of Peace for All Living Things!
It is a goal-directed type of learning principle for the Worlds Children based on the assumption that ideas and experiences reinforce one another and can be linked to enhance the holistic learning process. It refers to the capability of people to improve their communities through their own creativeness by following the same type of positive hands on action inherent in the Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts that was used to create the original model at Expo 2000 in Germany. The increased creativity is achieved through practice, self-perfection, and individual innovations of the original environmental artwork or idea. Research has proven that this repetitive type of learning process is based on the principle that related different ideas and experiences reinforce one another and can be linked together and to enhance the whole learning process. Through this collaborative creative process, individuals and communities are not simply beneficiaries of public art or recipients of treatment, but co-creators of the work as they learn new skills, gain knowledge among peers and community members, and play an active role in improving their physical community neighborhood. Other examples of the Iceality Methodology in Greater Cleveland are listed in the reference section below 1
The concept of learning-by-doing has been incorporated by American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate Jakupca in their design of endogenous growth of the WCPM to explain effects of innovation, technical and artistic growth of the Worlds Children Peace Monument. They use the concept to explain increasing returns to the embodied human capital working for Peace. At the ARK in Berea, the Jakupca’s have shown that learning by doing plays a role in the evolution of neighborhoods to greater specialization in production. In both these cases, learning by doing and increases the returns that provide an engine for long run growth.
The WCPM Peace Stones community/business opportunity provides a low-cost, low-risk means to achieve all this, and more. For instance:
It is a way to meet other people and develop new friendships
It gives the Families a chance to work closely together and develop stronger ties
It helps our children to develop and refine their business skills
It provides people the flexibility to organize and manage their time as they wish
It gives opportunities to those Family members who might not otherwise have them to succeed on their own.
In conjunction with the learning by doing concept, a non-formal learning method is organized learning outside the formal classroom learning system. For example: Coming together with people with similar interests and exchanging viewpoints, in clubs or in (international) youth organizations and workshops…the group of teachers, civic leaders and interested community organizations work with the artist to set the goals of the Peace Stone Project that will engage the local youth in the project objectives.
In some situations, the educational arrangement can use a combination of formal, informal, and non-formal learning methods. ICEA assisted the United Nations to recognize these different forms of learning. In some counties, children can get points that count in their formal learning systems for the work done in the more convenient informal learning curriculum. Additionally, as long as they can help to prepare, contribute, share and improve on this offered valuable new insight to peace, they may also be given time to assist in teaching and get actual work experience in organizing what they have learned in their own Worlds Children Peace youth workshops and training courses. This closes the significant gap between what children are told is important for their future career success and what business leaders actually want from the emerging workforce. Creative individuals are actually in demand, not just for arts careers, but for careers in business as well.
So, even if the Worlds Children are not artistic prodigies, those hours spent practicing is not a total waste. “This Theory of Iceality on Environmental Arts suggests the importance of a liberal education for today’s Worlds Children and prepares them for a healthy dynamic lifestyle for their tomorrow”. The fact is, that training in the Iceality Methodology in childhood affects their everyday life as older adults, and in our study this is especially true as the neural timing of the brain is the first to go in the aging adult,” said the Ambassador Renate.
“Berea has a vibrant cultural diversity. We use its ethnic iceality to expand the local German Heritage beyond the Labor Day Oktoberfest to include making Berea the ‘German Town’ of Greater Cleveland..."