The Growroom is a spherical, flat-pack, plywood structure facilitating the growth of local produce within space-poor urban communities. 

SPACE10, the innovation centre for Scandinavian retailer IKEA, collaborated with Swedish architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum (of Husum & Lindholm) to design and realise a low-cost, space and energy efficient solution to local food production.

The concept has been realised in cities across the world, including Taipei, San Francisco, and Rio de Janeiro, and has been nominated for a Danish Design Award (2017) in the ‘Visionary Concepts’ and ‘Feed Good’ categories.

The overlapping shelving slices allow light and water to reach the plants on each level and a hollow core allows for 360-degree maintenance whilst also providing communities with a ‘miniature oasis’ in which to immerse themselves and momentarily escape the hubbub of urban life. 
Image by Alona Vibe for Space10Image by Alona Vibe for Space10.

The Growroom (and its subsequent iteration, GrowMore) aims to provide urban communities with locally grown and communally maintained produce whilst occupying a smaller spatial footprint than traditional urban farms and community gardens.

An example of ‘pause-architecture', the Growroom is a structural intervention, designed and situated to encourage people to slow down, break autopilot and take in their surroundings.  
  Image by Alona Vibe for Space10.Image by Alona Vibe for Space10.

Designed as an antidote to the increasingly overpopulated and dangerously polluted cities of today, the vegetation serves as an organic air-filtration system. The trend for vertical farming, living facade’s and green buildings is on the rise across the built urban environment and is particularly prominent in cities across Asia, which suffer increasingly dangerous levels of pollution.

DIY Nature

Available to download from Space10 and Husum & Lindholm’s website, the Growroom’s plans are easy to navigate and construct, needing 13 sheets of plywood, a screwdriver, a drill, drill bits, 2 rubber hammers, access to a local maker space and a collaborative spirit. There is even the potential for the project to become even more sustainable, given the advancements and democratisation of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.  
 Image by Sine Lindholm Mads-Ulrik Husum for Space10Image by Sine Lindholm Mads-Ulrik Husum for Space10.

As population numbers grow, the built urban environment grows too. Green spaces – gardens, farms, parks, and allotments- become more scarce and considered less integral to the urban landscape in the face of a global housing crisis. The Growroom project encourages people to reconnect with nature by providing a platform in which to grow – fresh produce, and as a community. Given its modular, spherical structure, it can stand freely in any context, making it a viable addition to residential communities, as well as more transitory (but regularly maintained) public spaces like office blocks, transport hubs, and retail destinations. The design is simple and plywood is a relatively cheap and accessible material, rendering the design attainable to many a global community, regardless of affluence, design acumen or construction ability. 
 Image by Alicia Sjöström & Salone Del Mobile for Space10Image by Alicia Sjöström & Salone Del Mobile for Space10.

Conscious that shipping the structure overseas would negate the project’s dedication to localism and sustainability, Space10, and Husum & Lindholm opted to open source the designs, which are available online via Space10 and Husum & Lindholm’s websites. 

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