Sculpture? Gazebo? Multi-tiered plant container? The Growroom, an “urban farm pavilion” is all that and an elegantly presented political statement. Swedish architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm teamed up with Space10, an innovation lab supported by DIY furnishing mega-brand Ikea, to promote local agriculture and came up with the Growroom. They’re hoping the globe-shaped structure with built-in planter boxes you can access from outside or inside will encourage environmentally-friendly food production. Educating children about how food is produced and where it comes from were also concerns.
HERE’S HOW SPACE10 EXPLAINS IT:
“SPACE10 envision a future, where we grow our own food much more locally. To spark conversations about how we can bring nature back into our cities, grow our own food and tackle the rapidly increasing demand for significantly more food in the future, we teamed up with architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum to create The Growroom. Standing tall as a spherical garden, it empowers people to grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way.”
The original Growroom was exhibited around the world last year (2016) and drew a lot of interest as well as requests to either buy it or borrow it for other exhibitions. But the idea of shipping an Ikea-esque flat-pack version of the Growroom didn’t jive with promoting local food production so its creators decided to make it an open source design. The plans, free for anyone to build and make their own using local resources, became available online earlier this year.
A WELL-ROUNDED PROJECT
The approximately 9 foot tall structure might not be a project you’d want to tackle if you’re a novice carpenter but the design itself is remarkably straightforward, requiring only 17 sheets of plywood. However, you do need a CNC machine and a table saw. On the upside, the instructions have only 17 steps.
Once built, the tiered planter boxes can be lined with plastic for greater moisture retention and to protect the wood. The photo above shows it planted with a variety of ornamentals but its ideal destiny is as a giant fruit and veggie grower. And when you’re not tending to your crops, there’s room enough inside the Growroom for you and a friend to sit and admire the plants.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE?
Where you put your completed Growroom is up to you. Although all the images of it that I could see have it placed in a large indoor area, I can’t help thinking that you’d have more success with your crops if the structure were built outside in an area that gets a lot of sun. To do so, I assume you’d have to treat the wood to some sort of preservative.
If you decide to build one, whether indoors or outside, be sure to send any insights from your experience to the folks at Space10. They want to start a dialogue about how people are making their Growrooms work for their particular growing challenges. And if you can’t see yourself investing in a mill machine and 500 screws (yup, that’s how many you’ll need) let me know your thoughts about it. What would you grow in your Growroom?
OF EDIBLES AND ATMOSPHERIC LIGHTING
I can’t help imagining my own Growroom as a sort of personal hanging gardens of Babylon so, although I’d try to honour the spirit of the thing by planting lots of edibles, I’d probably plant a lot of trailing and climbing plants like pole beans, nasturtiums and cherry tomatoes to give it that look of delicious yet shaggy decadence. I’m pretty sure a couple of strings of fairy lights would be involved, too.
To download the complete manual of instructions use this link to the Space10 Community Growroom hub.
Photo (above) and drawing (top), courtesy of SPACE10 and architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm.