2021 Skyscraper Competition
Linnea Pettersson, Ludvig Sundberg, Carmen Povedano Olleros, Evelina Björndal
One of the most urgent environmental issues today is the degradation of land, which is happening at an alarming rate. Around 25% of our total land area has already been degraded, and scientists predict that with 24 billion tons of fertile soil lost every year due to intensive industrial farming, 95% of Earth’s land will be degraded by 2050.
The importance of the Earth’s soil lies in its ability to store carbon and nitrous oxide, as well as hosting complex and diverse ecosystems containing thousands of microorganisms. Out of these organisms, more than a fifth are different types of fungi, which play a crucial part in the ecosystem. The root system of fungi, called mycelium, transforms organic waste into nutrients, binds carbon to the soil, and binds the soil together, making it resilient to heavy rain and floods. Mycelium is therefore the starting point of a long chain of processes that ultimately provides us with food, nutrition, and a healthy planet overall.
However, the destruction of this chain of events due to modern agriculture is resulting in soil degradation, making it poor in quality and ultimately infertile. With a growing population and an increasing demand for food, the Earth’s soil is bound to be destroyed by industrial agriculture unless something is done.
This project proposes a rehabilitation of our soil by using mycelium to transform waste products from the agricultural industry into highly nutritious and healthy soil, thereby repairing the lost chain of events in every ecosystem. The high-rise shape uses a minimal footprint which allows the farmers to use their land during the rehabilitation while simultaneously maximizing the number of nutrients produced. It stands as a machine for ecosystem recovery. A monument to our symbiotic relationship with nature.