Third Place
2022 Skyscraper Competition

Michał Spólnik, Marcin Kitala
Austria, Poland

How would the world be able to feed itself?
We live in a paradox – nowadays more food is produced than needed but the expansion of hunger is increasing. How is this possible?

Global food production relies greatly on an extremely small number of crop and livestock species. Grains are married to particular chemicals, becoming vulnerable to environmental changes, and lack immunity. Together with changes in how land and water resources are used, population growth, urbanization, and shifting food culture, this lack of crop diversity poses a threat to global food and nutrition security. For the sake of our society – and for the ones to come – we might like to rethink the ways we treat our land.

What could we do about it?
The proposed skyscraper is a large-scale device that connects nature, science, and social fields. It is an aggregation of garden modules – each belonging to a particular biome, containing distinct flora, soil, microorganisms, small animals, and microclimate.

Following the principles of agroecology, each proto-garden is experimental from the start, often bringing together plants that do not come together in the natural environment. It is particularly important when fighting climate change, where some damages cannot be reversed and a new solution and adaptation are needed.

Modules are seeds of future gardens, fields, or farmlands. When one is requested it can be easily dispatched and shipped to the destination, where it will help to restore the natural landscape. Modules can be added, removed, or replaced freely.

Hidden behind the envelope of modules and their timber supporting structure is the core, filled with hardware functions – seed and plant tissue banks, laboratories, lecture spaces, data centers, warehouses, and high-tech composters. The program is completed with meetings, discussions, and knowledge exchange events.

Pods are made with cross-laminated timber, which allows agile fabrication and a relatively repetitive process of assembly and disassembly. Strains of CLT linear elements branch out from the core towards the pods – finding their way in optimized load-bearing bundles. Elements of ladders placed upon particular elements stimulate activities of small animals, that roam around in their floating garden.

Polish Countryside
New Spring could have flourished in a number of places around the world, but there is some kind of specificity among the fields of Poland. Cultivating the land over the centuries gave rise to many local festivities – that praise all the goods that flourish from this fertile soil. Fields are not only a support for the culture – they are a valid part of it.

Extending those farmlands vertically accentuates its significance in shaping Earth’s ecology while keeping the gentle footprint and prominence within the landscape. With its shape informed by traditional Easter Palm – symbolizes cyclical rebirth and rejuvenation.

With a positive look into the future, New Spring shall stimulate biodiversity, and cross-pollinating ecosystems and cultures. Countryside will flourish in a plethora of colors, reclaiming its vivid agency. But perhaps most importantly – it will promote the culture of sharing and caring about Nature. Our Home.

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