Seed Vault for a Sustainable Future

M. Arch I Core Studio, Fall 2017

Yale School of Architecture

Professor: David Moon

Site: Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

The Seed Vault is an archive of the living environment that operates at a variety of scales — ranging from the intimate relationship between one person experimenting with a single seed, to the vast quantity and space required to store hundreds of thousands of seeds for food sustainability. The program engages with concepts of containment, collection, organization, and study of seeds as a means to preserve and promote food diversity for future generations. This proposal is located at a cliff overlook in a vast California National Park. In order to minimize interruption of views across the natural scenery, the building is deeply integrated into the site. The existing landscape gently lifts off the ground by means of a sloping green roof to accommodate the ground floor below. The roof is occupiable and allows for a heightened view of the park while acting as an extension of an existing walking trail. The lobby at the center of the curved form is completely transparent, allowing one to view the oceanscape beyond while approaching the structure. The building then ramps downward in a cyclical manner, thus embedding itself into the earth much like seeds rooting themselves in soil. The more private programs are located below grade, such as the labs and seed storage. They are highly controlled and  sensitive environments that greatly benefit from the dense enclosure the subterranean location provides. The proposal harmoniously integrates itself into the landscape, while providing safe storage facilities for the sustainability of food diversity for future generations.