Skydiving planned in abandoned Warsaw cement silo
Moko Architects have a hair-raising plan for Zeran's defunct warehouses and factories
We’re familiar with indoor tennis courts and climbing walls, but - and pardon us if we appear gauche - indoor skydiving is new to us. So we were intrigued to see that Warsaw studio Moko Architects has come up with a proposal for a skydiving and diving centre 12km from the Polish capital. Is this urban regeneration gone mad, or a genuine innovation?
Moko's plan is to pile up shipping containers around a couple of obsolete cement silos to create a 10-storey structure. The sky-diving would happen in one of the cylindrical silos (converted with viewing platforms half way down, for the purpose), while the second one would be filled with water so that divers could plunge – if they chose to - into 25m of water.
What’s more, in the base of the sky-diving tower, there would be an underwater cave measuring 7m in diameter, where enthusiasts could train in wreck diving. Meanwhile those shipping containers will house offices, training facilities, a hostel for divers, exhibition space, reading room, sports equipment stores, and a café during the summer. By piling up the containers in an ad hoc fashion, Moko will form balcony terraces on the external landings.
It’s all planned for Zeran, a down-at-heel industrial district which boasts a number of defunct factories and warehouses. However, the area does have one thing going for it: a system of channels which transport water between Warsaw and the Zegrze Reservoir.
“The collection of elements has a huge potential,” Moko believes, “The channel provides the opportunity of doing water sports and staying active. The remains of the factories, warehouses and silos may be attractive for investors interested in their modernisation into lofts, offices, studios or erecting new buildings which will interline into the surrounding landscape.” Construction is scheduled to start in two years’ time. For further inspirational grey matter, try our great Concrete book, and if you're keen on ecological design, consider the wonderful Vitamin Green.