The Holcim Awards competition recognizes the importance of engaging tomorrow’s professionals on the theme of sustainable construction, and sharing their visions and ideas at a conceptual level. The “Next Generation” category was open to student projects. Second prize was conferred to a passive agriculture proposal for the floodplain of the Nile River in Ethiopia, developed by students of the University of Seoul, South Korea.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2011 for Africa Middle East » أقرأ المزيد (Arabic) » pour en savoir plus (French) »
The jury considers the striking essence of this project to be that it re-invents, in a visionary and innovative way, the cultivation of Nile waters and soils that have ensured nutrition and prosperity for the sharing countries for millennia. The idea is simple and impressive. It may allow countries now insufficiently profiting from the valuable river resource to lower dependence from importing artificial fertilizer and to improve food security.
Helix structures 100m in diameter made of concrete and steel are positioned into the Nile River canyon. With 90% of the water and 96% of the transported sediment carried by the Nile originating in Ethiopia, the agricultural system collects the fertile soil the river carries during the flood season.
Computer analysis of water flows and dynamics optimize the capture of sediment onto the structure. During the dry season, the towers emerge from the water and lay open the soil for cultivation. Various crops including potatoes, corn, cucumbers, spinach, roses and tulips are grown on various levels of the structure depending on the number of days the section is above the water level. As the structures are fixed, maintenance will be low. The Resurrection of Ancient Agriculture concept proposes an alternative to the construction of large scale dams that generate political and economic instability in the region.Download project entry poster (PDF, 2.64 MB) »See more