agroecological skyscraper by michał spólnik & marcin kitala
“New Spring”: an agroecological skyscraper
Polish architects Michał Spólnik and Marcin Kitala share their proposal for an agroecological skyscraper called “New Spring”. Rising dramatically above the cultivated fields, the framework The structure is envisioned as an aggregation of modules – each containing the seeds of future gardens, fields or farmlands that can be shipped to specific regions to help restore their natural landscape. The project won third place in the 2022 skyscraper competition organized by eVolo Magazine.
Explaining the inspiration behind “New Spring”, Spólnik (see more here) and Kitala (see more here) comment: ‘Global food production depends largely on a very small number of plant and animal species. Combined with changes in land and water use, population growth, urbanization and changing food culture, this lack of crop diversity poses a threat to global food and nutrition security. . For the good of our society – and for those to come – we might like to rethink the way we treat our land.
replenish land with experimental “biome starters”
Following the principles of agroecology, each proto-garden belongs to a particular biome with its distinct flora, soil, microorganisms, small animals and microclimate. These “starter biomes” are experimental from the outset, often combining plants that do not occur in the natural environment. Such experimentation, the architects note, is essential in the fight against climate change, where some damage is irreversible and new solutions and adaptations are needed.
Behind the envelope of the modules and their wooden support structure hides the core filled with material functions: seed and plant tissue banks, laboratories, conference rooms, data centers, warehouses and high-tech composters. The program is complemented by meetings, discussions and knowledge exchange events.
a modular wooden structure symbolizing rebirth
The modular modules are made of cross-laminated timber, which allows for agile manufacturing and a relatively repetitive assembly and disassembly process. Linear CLT element strains branch from the nucleus to the pods – finding their way into optimized carrier bundles. Ladder-like features placed on particular elements stimulate the activities of small animals that roam the floating gardens. Modules can be added, removed or replaced freely.
Reflecting on the choice of location, the architects state: ‘New Spring could have thrived in many places around the world, but there is a kind of uniqueness among the fields in Poland. The cultivation of the land over the centuries has given rise to many local festivities praising all the wares that flourish from this fertile soil. With its shape inspired by the traditional Easter palm tree, the structure also symbolizes cyclical rebirth and rejuvenation..’
Name: new spring
architecture: Michał Spólnik, Marcin Kitala
third place winner: eVolo Skyscraper Competition 2022
designboom received this project from our DIY Submissions feature, where we invite our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: léa zeitoun | design boom