Filter Grid Seed Compex & Research Pod
This project explores humans’ desire to plan and store, the simultaneous comfort and alienation of industrial processes, and the actions that surround cultivation, planning, and storing. In this speculative site for a seed storage complex, a Jeffersonian grid is deformed sectionally as it meets the natural feature of the river. My building takes advantage of this landscape condition as an efficient means of processing circulation, storage, and irrigation. It acts as a node within an expansive landscape. The building is a grid, collaged into the larger grid of the landscape. User groups include public visitors, private staff, water, and seeds. Service spaces (elevator, toilet, water pump room, etc.) occupy the wrapper. The circulation acts as the served space, filling the atrium core. The building filters from public to private as you descend to the seed vault. The daily rituals of each user group determine space and circulation. Ultimately, this building is not about the product of this planning and storing, but the ritual of the action. The seed vault program is most important as a source of comfort and security in the face of possible catastrophes.
The individual research and storage pod pokes at the illusory nature of the security of seed vault through a physical comedy of process. As the user moves from the entry to the space for weighing/labeling/measuring, to the seed vault, to the study area, they follow a procession that continuously overlaps itself. They slide and push the same four doors over and over again. This is an ergonomic space taken to a frustrating extreme. While precise, the process is anything but efficient. The form of the vault feigns security, although it is only sheathed in a membrane. The study area, the last space in the process is transparent and exposed. Unknown to the user, it isn’t even enclosed at the start of the process. This space is meant to represent a reckoning with the futility of the process and the fragility of the vault’s contents. The user completes the process by sliding open the same door that they used to enter. This resets the process in a mirrored version.