In an effort to revitalize an old pumping station in Pila, Poland, this first prize winning proposal by mode:lina successfully combines green thinking with eco-technology to turns a space into a place where you can learn, practice, and get accustomed to one of the best ways to help your environment - growing your own food. These three aspects: nature+mineral water+education are the base of their concept. By combining them with each other, they hope to once again promote the city and give back a pumping function to an old building. More images and architects' description after the break.
When you look at Pila city from above, you will see lots of parks, green squares and lakes around city center. It's so unique, even for a small-scale town,so it's a must to consider every interference to keep it green as long as possible. The eco -character of the city is completed with almost normal mineral water circulating in water supply pipes of every citizen. Rich in magnesium is similar, this water is sometimes even better than bottled water. It's available for free for all citizens,so it can't be sold, but it's valuable ingredients made us thinking how can we use it.
In Pila city, as numerous as parks and lakes, are nurseries and schools. Educating such a big amount of young people can lead to some very important changes,thanks to their awareness and knowledge .An idea for the pumping building's next life is to create in it a hydroponic farming. This new version of allotment gardens is based on a very simple system which you can easily build at home.
In this kind of a soil-less farming you only have to water your plants with nourished water with some supplements. Clean workplace and ecology are not the only pros of this action. Hydroponic gardening allows changing kinds of plans as often as you like and what is most important, you don't need soil to plant. Well-nourished seedlings fruit more often and more effective than in normal conditions. Veggies and fruits are naturally raised, so they're really healthy and no longer you have to dig in dirt with your hands.
Technology consist of three basic elements. First one is a pump, placed under every system. Its task is to spread the water over whole system, to every seedling. Liquids are spread by small channels. By them,they also go back into the pumping, or in case of aquaponic technology, they nourish fish or other water animals. Last part of this system are pots with plants filled with special base allowing water and oxygen to flow. Complicated, at first sight, hydroponic system can be easily built at home with little pump and used PET bottles. Now, what's going on in the new pumping building? First and foremost, it's an eco-education. Every single person coming to this green center can familiarize oneself with this technology, make his own garden, then raise plants, eat, even sell his very own veggies. Thanks to the eco-education it's no longer a fashionable ecology, but an aware one.
Hydroponic gardening is not only about food. It's a place where people can work on a hydroponic technology, exchange their ideas and opinions. Through the fun and education people can get interested in some very important causes. How about making Pila city the new center of hydroponic technology? Very important thing about this modern gardens is that they doesn't exist in only one building but it can be spread all over the city. Indirectly, people can sell veggies or flowers at the town markets or private stalls. Directly, some parts of cultivated plants can be removed and placed at buildings' walls and create vertical gardens, covering unattractive parts of a city.
What is hydroponic gardening for the city of Pila?
- a place for kids to play with hydroponics,
- an education center where you can learn about this kind of 'agroculture',
- a place for exploring and inventing new ideas for hydroponic technology,
- shop, where you can buy components for your own home gardening,
- a green fabric that produces elements for urban space such as vertical gardens
Location: Pila, Poland
Team: Arch. Paweł Garus, Arch. Jerzy Woźniak, Kinga Kin, Agnieszka Owsiany
Area: 420 m2