[Conferences] Roueïda Ayache, associate architect at architecturestudio, presented the Mine project in Jinan in Milan. An inverted skyscraper imagined by the agency a few years ago.

In 1957, Jinan opened an iron mine that would operate until the very beginning of the 21st century. It is the transformation of its two main access shafts and its network of galleries that we are talking about in 2019.

We propose to use the mine as a dual resource: a deposit of building stone and a place to live. In Jinan, the summers are long, very hot and humid, and the winters very cold. The inertia of the earth provides a response to these extreme conditions, which will be exacerbated by climate change.

Conical excavation and programmatic stratification create a new troglodyte habitat, two inverted skyscrapers linked by an underground funicular railway, whose terraced gardens gradually sink into the ground. The upper rings are home to a mining museum, hotels, shops, housing, offices, market gardens and horticulture. The lower strata house a sports and wellness centre, a spa hotel, leisure facilities, gallery tours, an aquaponic farm, horticultural crops under artificial light and myciculture, a power station, storage facilities and a data centre.

This reversal of gravity opens up a new way of looking at the sky, and proposes an alternative interpretation of the earth’s resources. A return to the primitive archetypes of human habitation, as it were. The architectural outlines of this ambitious development project revisit the archetypes of local culture to adapt them to the conditions of a new communal living space, which the future residents will be encouraged to better define and manage through an active co-design process.

The event, organised by Platform Architecture and Design during MADE expo 2023, focuses on unbuilt visions of a future that never happened. The selected projects are described in the latest issue of the magazine and will also be presented at an exhibition.