Situated along Manchester Oxford Road, the design intent of the Potato Genebank aligns with Oxford Road Corridor Strategic Framework and MMU's future campus development. The proposed design will be an anchor point of the future campus to reconnect the city and the rural through knowledge exchange and collaboration with different sectors. Its strategic location encourages all potato-related stakeholders to contribute to the interdisciplinary discussion in genetic research to build a sustainable yet resilient future in agriculture biodiversity.
Why potato? Potato is one of the most consumed vegetables in the UK from the past to the present, forming influential parts and parcels of British culture and history. The Potato Genebank aims to raise public awareness on the current global issue concerning the loss of biodiversity in food and agriculture by providing an interactive educational platform welcoming the participation of the local community. Concurrently, conserve and improve potato genetic quality to combat climate change. Varieties of potato genetics are made available to local farmers, breeders, and researchers to increase potato diversity and to secure the potato supply chain for future generations.
Design concept - Grow
Inspired by the growth of a potato plant, the germplasm collection (storage of potato genetics) acts as the central core of the proposed design, imitating the importance of a potato tuber in the plant growing process. All programmes growing out from the central core are linked back to it through an educative circulation zone. Creating contrast with the introverted neighbouring building, the Potato Genebank focuses on an outright extroverted spatial quality by enhancing transparency and permeability with street-like patterned ground floor, glass, and metal mesh.