ADS6: The Deindustrial Revolution – Garden of Making

Anna Podlaszewska

I am originally from Poland but I have spent a large portion of my education in the UK. I received my Bachelor degree from the University of Cambridge. After that I have lived and worked in London, Rome and New York, finally, completing my master’s degree at the Royal College of Art.

Contact

ania.podl@gmail.com

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I am currently based between Poland and London. My final academic project reflects that bridging of various backgrounds as I research the local Polish understanding of the mining industries in the light of the global urge for reverting climate change and the new methods of carbon extraction. Environmental issues and the importance of local traditions and identity appear at the forefront of my interests. 

Rehearsal Hall in the Gardens

Rehearsal Hall in the Gardens — Garden of Char postulates on the formation of a new carbon vernacular, meaning a good-productive rather than harmful-productive landscape where the social agenda, community life and workers' leisure do not have to be physically divorced from the site of production, like in case of this rehearsal hall filled with fruit crops.

Biochar Farmland

Biochar Farmland — Poland undergoes intensive reforestation and becomes covered in biochar and a new type of an all-covering plantation for the purpose of the new circular carbon economy. The land and the social and cultural landscape have so far been distinctly divided into the industrial sites, agricultural fields, human settlements and remaining forests. However, as everything becomes a plantation-forest all other programs and agriculture have become integrated into the forest

Plantation Chapel

Plantation Chapel — This speculation investigates the highly controlled and manipulated forms of engineered nature like the so-called climate regulating crops which grow exceptionally fast producing large amounts of oxygen. Their resistance and predictable growth pattern make it possible to plant it on difficult, even toxic post-industrial soils and integrate into structures. This is explored in the chapel design inscribed into the plantation’s grid and timeline.

Plantation Stage — The reinterpretation of the mine topography is an alternative carbon extraction landscape of growth and leisure. The Gardens of Char create and highlight the human and national traditions of participation in the carbon cycle over time, all set within a productive setting.

Reservation Park

Reservation Park — Part of the plantation has been established as a reservation park for engineered nature where the plantation trees are left to live out their days. The former act of controlled salvation by engineered nature and the latter of preservation of the artificial, rather than unspoiled, is symbolic of the raising self-consciousness of the anthropocene, because either way, there is no way out of it. The acts are an acknowledgement that its judgement is never unequivocal as our understanding of the environment is always political and temporary.

This project acknowledges the growing global need for reverting the carbon emissions in the context of Poland’s cultural and economic addiction to both coal and lignite. Based on newly emerging industrial trends and domestic technology a speculation on the dissemination of a new, clean Biochar production is made. This speculation proposes that this new process takes over the post-industrial site of the largest lignite mine in Europe, the Bełchatów Mine in Poland.

Biochar can be sourced from almost any organic matter. The CO2 captured by plants through photosynthesis turns into a stable carbon sediment through the process of pyrolysis. The CO2 captured is therefore locked in Biochar. Thanks to the widespread potential use of Biochar in the ground and construction it can be used to lock enormous amounts of carbon for centuries.

This work offers a reinterpretation of the mine’s social and physical landscape as an alternative for carbon extraction through growth and leisure rather than exploitation and pollution. Our past position within the carbon cycle overlaps with the future and the mine becomes a highly curated climate crop plantation with a cultural agenda. This speculation examines the controlled and manipulated forms of engineered nature like so-called oxygen trees that grow exceptionally fast producing large amounts of oxygen. A reflection on this highly controlled recuperation of the landscape is expressed in the establishment of a reservation for retired plantation crops. The former an act of controlled salvation by engineered nature and the latter of preservation of the artificial, rather than unspoiled, is symbolic of the raising self-consciousness of the Anthropocene, because either way, there is no way out of it. The acts are an acknowledgement that its judgement is never unequivocal as our understanding of the environment is always political and temporary.
artificial nature
biochar
carbon
coal
landscape
leisure
mining
plantation
poland
production

Biochar

From CO2 to Biochar

From CO2 to Biochar

Structure enhancement

Surface Treatment

Surface Treatment

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